Queensland Government Green Lights $6.7-billion Coal Mine

Queensland Government Green Lights $6.7-billion Coal Mine

Queensland’s coordinator general has given the go ahead to MacMines Austasia’s China Stone coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

Queensland’s coordinator general has given MacMines Austasia, a subsidiary of Meijin Energy Group, the green light to proceed with its $6.7-billion China Stone coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

The approval, which stems from an evaluation of the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS), has been hailed as a “major step” towards China Stone’s development.

The operation is set to be a 38-million-tonne-per-year open-cut and underground thermal coal mine at peak production. Its lifespan is currently docketed at 50 years, and it will target Asia — primarily China — as its main export location.

China Stone’s EIS indicates that capital expenditure will come in at $6.7 billion, part of which will cover the development of mine infrastructure areas, a coal-handling and preparation plant and, most importantly, a railway linking the Northern Galilee Basin to Abbot Point coal terminal.

The company refers to the railway as “key enabling infrastructure,” and is currently weighing its options to make it a reality.

The project is anticipated to contribute $951 million per year to the gross state product (GSP) during construction, with that contribution peaking at $1.5 billion per year to Queensland’s GSP for the first 25 years of operation.

Applauding the approval was the Queensland Resources Council, with Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane highlighting the contribution the mine will bring to the state’s economy and job market.

“Every new investment in the resources sector is good news for Queensland,” he said in a statement. “That means more high-paying jobs for regional Queenslanders, especially in places like Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton.”

“There are up to six mines that could open in the Galilee Basin. That’s just the shot in the arm that regional towns need,” he added.

According to the EIS, China Stone’s five-year construction and early works phase would see about 3,900 full-time equivalent jobs at peak, with just under 3,400 positions expected for the operational phase.

“I conclude that there are significant local, regional and state benefits to be derived from the China Stone coal project, and that environmental impacts can be acceptably managed, minimised or offset, through the implementation of the measures and proponent commitments outlined in the EIS,” the coordinator-general’s evaluation report reads.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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