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Tick for New Acland Stage 3 at last

The battle over New Acland Coal's (NAC) Queensland mine began again on Monday over an approved expansion.

After years of indecision, New Hope Corporation’s New Acland Mine Stage 3 has been granted approval by the Queensland government.

In a two-line media release, resources minister Scott Stewart said he had approved the mining leases for the next stage of the open cut mine “after careful consideration”.

The independent assessment included the Land Court of Queensland’s recommendation that the leases be granted and follows the issue of the amended Environmental Authority on June 28, 2022, following a separate independent assessment by the Department of Environment and Science.

The only remaining primary approval required for New Acland Stage 3 to proceed is the granting of the Associated Water Licence by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water.

New Hope Group said it had begun preparations for resumption of mining operations and continues to work collaboratively with representatives in anticipation of the grant of the water licence.

Company chair Robert Millner said the development was welcome and long-awaited news.

“New Hope and the local communities around Acland and Oakey are now only one step away from restarting the New Acland mine where there has been mining activity for over 100 years,” he said.

“New Acland Stage 3 stacks up environmentally, socially and financially and is consistent with and delivers on the recently released and extensive Queensland Government Resources Industry Development Plan.

“Unfortunately after 15 years of seeking approvals, New Hope remains at risk of ongoing delays caused by objectors utilising the court system to engage in ‘lawfare’ to slow down the approval process, regardless of the merits.

“We are hopeful that the Queensland Government can see a way to finally approve New Acland Stage 3 with certainty to secure jobs in the region and significant economic benefits for Queensland.”

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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