Qld grants Olive Downs coordinated project status

17th February 2017 By: Esmarie Swanepoel - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has awarded the A$1-billion Olive Downs coal mine coordinated project status, allowing the independent Coordinator-General to efficiently coordinate the environmental assessment process for the coal mine across both state and federal agencies.

Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham on Friday said the coordinated project status marked the beginning of a process, which will include a comprehensive environmental-impact assessment, towards a development that could create more than 500 construction jobs a year over two years.

“When the opencut mine is up and running, it could maintain up to 960 operational jobs. It would operate for more than 30 years and produce up to 14-million tonnes a year.

“Most importantly, Pembroke Resources will encourage workers to live in local towns like Moranbah, Nebo and Middlemount.”

Pembroke Resources recently revealed to Mining Weekly Online that the company was hopeful of starting production at Olive Downs as early as 2020.

Fully developed, the complex, 40 km south-east of Moranbah, will be one of the largest coking coal mines in the world, and will include coal handling and crushing facilities at the mine’s Olive Downs South and Willunga precincts, a rail link to transport coal to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and a water pipeline and power transmission line.

Lynham said the Coordinator-General was expected to release draft terms of reference for the environmental-impact statement in March.

Pembroke last year struck a A$120-million deal with Peabody Energy and Citic Resources Holdings to acquire their interests in metallurgical coal tenements collectively know as the Olive Downs complex.

While Pembroke has nailed down the Olive Downs South and Willunga deposits, an 87.3% stake in the Olive Downs North project is still outstanding, subject to the approval of minority interest holders.