Palmer’s coal mine plan gets a reboot
EMBOLDENED by Adani Carmichael coal mine's success, Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal company has stepped up their efforts to develop their significantly larger Galilee Basin mine.
Proposed to be built 200km west of Emerald, the $6.4 billion Galilee Coal Project - formerly known as the China First - would be four times the size of the Carmichael mine when fully developed.
Until recently, the Galilee Coal Project had sat dormant after gaining EIS approvals from the State and Federal Governments in 2013 and draft environmental authority approval for the mining lease in 2015.
Last Friday, a public notice was placed in Emerald's Central Queensland News seeking feedback for the proposal with a deadline set for December 2 for objections from the public to the granting of the mining lease.
The Morning Bulletin understands Waratah Coal was also required to place a notice on dnrme.qld.gov.au as well as advise all landholders within the mining lease area, adjoining landholders and the Barcaldine Regional Council.
Objections would be referred to the Land Court mid-to-late December.
A Waratah Coal spokesperson said they were currently completing regulatory project approvals as required by State Government agencies and that the project had a number of approvals from State and Federal Governments already in place.
Featuring two open-cut and four underground coal mines, and plans for a 453km railway linking the project to the Adani-owned Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, the coal project promised to yield more than 40 million tonnes per annum while generating 3,500 construction and 2,325 operational jobs.
In May, Waratah Coal said they intended to use a "slurry pipeline" to take coal hundreds of kilometres to the port at Gladstone.
"A pipeline is much more environmentally friendly, it's underground, it could be powered by solar power on the surface, using renewable energy," Mr Palmer said at the time.
Queensland Minister for Mines Anthony Lynham said his government was supportive of the resource sector and Mr Palmer had the same rights as anyone else to start the process to develop this project.
"But like all projects, it will have to meet all of Queensland's environmental and financial requirements," Dr Lynham said.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said mining projects like this were vital to the Queensland economy.
"In the 2017-18 financial year, the mining industry paid $5.2 billion in wages, spent $19.5 billion in purchases, provided 54,016 full-time jobs and paid $4.3 billion in royalties to the Queensland economy," Ms Landry said.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said there was significant potential for investment and jobs in the Galilee Basin.
"Figures from the Office of the Chief Economist show that if the six major coal projects in the Galilee Basin were to proceed they would create 13,900 construction jobs and 12,803 jobs during operations," Mr Macfarlane said.
"All resources projects undergo a thorough assessment and approvals process and it's a matter for each proponent to complete that approvals process as required by both state and federal laws.
"QRC would like to see Queensland's diverse resources sector reach its full potential to deliver benefits for regional communities and the state's economy in accordance with appropriate environmental regulations."