Leases granted for Surat Coal Project

Mining giant Glencore has the been granted the first mining leases for the Wandoan coal project, 10 years after the application was made.

Wandoan coal project 2Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has approved the grant of three 27-year leases over 30,000 ha for Stage 1 of Glencore’s proposed $7billon project.

When operational, a new mine could produce up to 22 million tonnes of high-quality thermal coal annually, and create about 1300 jobs in construction and more than 800 in operation.

Glencore say it would not comment on timing or future progress until it saw the detail of the mining leases.

The Government decision comes as the coal industry begins a recovery with Adani pushing ahead with the Carmichael mine, and more than $2 billion invested in recent months in new mines and, reopened old mines.

The decision is also set to end the uncertainty for the region.

The granting of the mining leases clears the way for the company to pay compensation to the landowners within 30 days. It also allows Glencore to sell the project at a much higher value.

A group of western Queensland graziers took legal action lodging a judicial review with the Supreme Court asking for orders because they were unable to sell their properties or make any investment while the mining lease application remained unresolved.

The mine, if it proceeds will produce high grade coal now in demand for electricity. Observers say that demand will grow over the next five years.