A new mega-mine worth $ 7 Billion has been green lighted by the State Government for the Galilee Basin.
In a move that failed to produce even a media release the Minister Queensland’s independent Co-ordinator-General has approved MacMines Austasia Pty Ltd.’s proposal to construct and operate the coal mine.
The project is predicted to generate billions of dollars in royalties and create almost 4000 jobs during construction and almost 3400 jobs when the mine is operational.
MacMines Austasia’s 20,000ha China stone thermal coal project is bigger than Adani’s scaled back plans for the first phase of its Carmichael mine, tipped to produce 38 million tonnes of coal annually at peak to supply power stations in China and other parts of Asia.
The mine will have a 50-year lifespan, contributing an annual average of $188.26 million in royalties for the State within the first 25 years of operation.
It is situated beside Adani’s project and is expected to loop into the Indian conglomerate’s planned railway line.
The announcement came without fanfare from the state government, usually quick to herald loudly projects that are job creators, with political observers saying the approval is expected to stir up a political hornet’s nest within some key South East Queensland seats ahead of the federal election and where the anti-mining and green lobbies are active.
The announcement comes on the same day that Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten announced the party’s energy plan which would see the establishment of a transition away from coal-fired power stations and mining.
The Greens are also expected to be disillusioned by the announcement as they attempt to bring pressure to bear on Labor in state parliament with MP Michael Berkman private members bill calling for mining in the Galilee Basin to be banned.
China stone will consist of one open-cut mine, three underground mines as well as rail loop and train-loading facilities, a power station and associated power station waste storage facility, an airstrip and an accommodation village.
Federal Resources Minister Senator Matt Canavan has welcomed the co-ordinator-general’s approval.