Apr 06, 2017

Giant coal projects inch closer to approval

Giant coal projects inch closer to approval

Pembroke Resources’ $1 billion Olive Downs mine proposal is continuing to progress, with the draft terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment now available for public comment.

In Moranbah today to talk to local businesses about the potential impact of ex-TC Debbie, State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said this was the first step in a rigorous environmental approvals process for a planned coking coal mine that could create more than 500 construction jobs a year over two years.

“The Coordinator-General will consider all comments and release the final terms of reference for the environmental impact statement which the proponent will then be required to fully address,” Dr Lynham said.

The proposed mine complex would be midway between  Moranbah and Dysart and includes an 18km rail spur to the Norwich Park Branch railway, a water pipeline connecting to the Eungella pipeline network, an electricity transmission line and access roads.

The proposed mine is a coordinated project, which means the independent Coordinator-General efficiently coordinates the environmental assessment process across State and Federal agencies.

The draft terms of reference are available online and in local libraries. Submissions are open until May 12. (More at statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/olivedowns)

Meanwhile Adani Australia has announced another milestone in the approval process for the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin, with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines granting a water licence for the operation.

The modelling assessed by the department showed that up to 4.55 GL of groundwater could be taken per year, the company said.

“With the granting of the associated water license there are now 100 conditions related to groundwater including specific conditions relating to monitoring and reporting.” Adani Australia said in a statement.

Under the conditions of the associated water licence for groundwater, Adani will also need to establish make-good agreements with groundwater users who could potentially be affected by changes to water availability or quality.

The company said the proposed $21.7 billion Carmichael mine, rail and port projects had undergone extensive and rigorous approval processes at State and Commonwealth levels, including a Land Court hearing on the mining lease.