MacMines Austasia has secured a conditional environmental approval from the Queensland government for its A$6.7bn ($4.84bn) China Stone coal mine located in the Australian state’s Galilee Basin.
The China Stone coal mine is being planned to be developed into a 38 million tonne per annum open cut and underground thermal coal operation by the subsidiary of Chinese energy company Meijin Energy Group.
Production from the proposed coal mine, located 300km west of Mackay and 190km west of Moranbah, will be exported to Asia, primarily for China. The China Stone coal mine will have a mine life of about 50 years.
Overall, the new coal mine project in Queensland involves the development of an open-cut and underground coal mines, coal handling and preparation plant, tailings and water storage facilities, a 1,050MW power station and others.
As per the environmental impact statement (EIS) issued by the Queensland government, MacMines Austasia has to implement certain measures to mitigate potential impacts caused by the China Stone coal mine both on the environment and local communities.
Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Broe said: “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 Queensland government expects the coal mine project to bring in nearly 3,900 direct full time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the peak stage of the five-year construction. On the other hand, operations phase of the China Stone coal mine is likely to create close to 3,400 FTE jobs at peak.
MacMines Austasia, in a statement, said: “The project will be a great benefit to the local region, state and nation and its approval by the Queensland Coordinator General is welcomed.”
The China Stone coal mine is now the fifth coal mine in the Galilee Basin to have secured an EIS. MacMines Austasia revealed that it has applied for mining leases to move ahead with the coal project.
The company also said that a railway line, which will connect the northern Galilee Basin to Abbot Point coal terminal, is essential to be completed for the development of its coal mine.