Swiss-owned global mining company Xstrata, has received thumbs up from the Queensland land court for what could be the biggest open cut coal mine in the southern hemisphere creating more mining jobs for the region.
Found 400 kilometres north west of Brisbane, Xstrata’s Wandoan project faced opposition from graziers and green groups who, on environmental grounds, attempted to stymie plans for the mine.
Ray Mortimer, president of the Wandoan Chamber of Commerce, said the court’s decision ends the doubt. “We’ve all been in no man’s land, waiting and I think it’ll be a big asset in the district and it has certainly helped the investors that have come there to buy properties.”
Even so, though court approval for the coal mine has been granted, there is still no guarantee plans will come to fruition. Kathryn Lamond , spokeswomen for Xstrata’ says the mining lease’s application to the environment authority has yet to be approved. When that hurdle has been cleared the company can make a final investment decision.
Over 2000 mining jobs are up for grabs.
Lamond says the goal is to have 20 per cent of the mine’s workforce living locally in Wandoan and nearby towns including Dalby and Miles.
She added, “From a mine jobs perspective, during construction there’ll be 1,400 jobs in the mine and then once we’re operational there’ll be 900 permanent mining jobs.”
The mine will be another influential supplier of thermal coal for export and possibly domestic markets, with an expected mine life of 30 years.
Wandoan coal mine gets OK from land court
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