You might think Adani is the only company vying for the rights to dig coal out of the Gailee Basin, but MacMines Australia has received environmental approval from the Queensland Government. It is proposing to develop a A$6.7 billion ($4.84B) China Stone coal mega-mine.
This massive project means an open-pit and underground thermal coal mine. This is situated close to Adani Group’s polemic Carmichael mine, and initial estimates show about 38 million tonnes of coal per year could be mined when the operation is running at max capacity. Coal from the 20,000-hectare mine will more than likely be exported to China, according to the Coordinator General’s here project’s environmental impact statement.
As part of the China Stone coal mega-mine development, MacMines will construct the coal handling and preparation plant, a tailings storage facility, the purpose-built rail loop and train-loading areas, as well as a coal-fired power station to power the mine.
China Stone mine will generate about A$188 million in royalties every year for the Queensland Government during its first 25 years of operation. Thousands of mining jobs will be created which is great news for the QLD mining sector.
Some of the conditions for the approval include MacMines having to avoid, or mitigate and manage, any impact on the black-throated finch habitat, groundwater and surface water resources.“While [the environmental nod] is certainly a step towards development, we see number of other hurdles in the way. From an environmental standpoint, the federal government is still required to assess the project while additional information is required on its groundwater impact,” said MacMines.
MacMines Australia, owned by China’s Shanxi Meijin Energy, has indicated the lifespan of China Stone mine could be some 50 years. Abbot Point Coal Terminal will be used for shipments.
The Federal Environment Minister has been sent the EIS evaluation and now has six weeks to make a decision under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Five years to construct
If the project gets all the necessary approvals, it will take five years to construct, 300 kilometres west of Mackay, with Charter Towers and Clermont being the closest townships at over 250 km away.