The small proposed open cut mine was not deemed to meet the scrutiny standards of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 – thus not requiring further federal assessment.
The first stage development of the mine is expected to produce 500,000 tonnes per annum from 2012 and the Queensland coal explorer recently secured a port allocation of this amount from the planned export terminal at Wiggins Island.
While the new terminal is not expected to start shipping under its stage-one capacity until 2014, Northern already holds an allocation through Barney Point for the interim period.
Further development of Colton is expected to use the terminal from 2014-15
The planned mine at Colton, within the company’s Maryborough project, holds 83 million tonnes of resources and 5.9Mt of probable hard coking coal reserves.
Shares in Northern are up 2c to $1.58 this morning.