Waratah Coal has signed an agreement with central Queensland Indigenous groups for its proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin, west of Rockhampton. This is the start of the new project which is expected to create the opportunity of 7500 jobs.
Chairman Clive Palmer is planning the $8 billion China First project near Alpha, involving four underground mines and two open cuts.
Mr Palmer says the management plan will allow the project to proceed and ensure the culture of the Jangga people is protected.
Waratah Coal steps in the right direction
Colin McLennan from the Jangga people says it is a step in the right direction.
“It creates the opportunity of jobs, and with the cultural heritage sites, it’s maintaining that we look after all those main sacred sites.”
Meanwhile, Mr Palmer says the major hurdle for the project is securing the necessary State Government approvals.
As well as the mines, Waratah Coal wants to develop a rail line to Abbot Point near Bowen in north Queensland and upgraded export facilities at Abbot Point.
Mr Palmer says he will not let the Government delay the project.
“We’ll kick pretty hard and push pretty hard,” he said.
“There’s an election on next year and the Premier [Anna Bligh] wants to have 100,000 jobs – they’re not going to get it unless they get these projects going.
“There’s no reason not to do it [but] Queensland does lead the world in the worst bureaucratic approval system.”
Mr Palmer expects to make more announcements about international supply contracts for the China First mine.
“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve now sold all our coal for the next 20 years,” he said.
“We’ve sold probably about $40 billion worth of coal at the moment and we’ll be having announcements about that in the next couple of weeks.”
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