KALGOORLIE (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has encouraged submissions on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for ASX-listed Whitehaven Coal’s A$1-billion Winchester South metallurgical coal mine.
At full capacity the mine is targeting run-of-mine production of up to 17-million tonnes a year of coal to supply the international market for about 30 years.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the mine would create more than A$500-million in royalties which would be spent on Queensland schools, hospitals, and roads, as the government continued to implement its strong Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“This project will be a massive jobs and business boost for Central Queensland and the Isaac region particularly, with those benefits extending east to Mackay,” Stewart said.
“Whitehaven Coal has a strong record of local employment and is committed to maintaining local employment here in Queensland. Ongoing investment in our resources sector continues to underpin Queensland’s economic recovery plan and prove that Queensland is the place to be when it comes to resources investment.”
Whitehaven Coal MD and CEO Paul Flynn welcomed the release of the EIS.
“Since acquiring Winchester South in 2018, our team has developed a detailed project design that capitalises on the site’s position in a well-established coal region.
“As our first development in Queensland, we’ve built productive relationships with the community, local council, the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation, government, and other stakeholders, all of whom have been critical to developing the proposal.
“This project will support ongoing economic development in regional Queensland and importantly in the customer countries where the product will be used. We encourage any interested parties to have a say as part of this public notification process.”
The opencut metallurgical coal mine is forecast to create 500 construction jobs and 500 operational jobs once approved.
Submissions are open until 15 September and the finalised EIS will then be provided to the Queensland and Commonwealth governments for examination.