The Brisbane-based company, a fully owned subsidiary of Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy group, plans to build a thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin coal region near Alpha, west of Emerald, as part of its China First project.
The mine will be linked to a proposed coal terminal at Abbot Point by a new 453km, standard-gauge, heavy-haul railway capable of carrying 400 million tonnes per annum of coal, which provides sufficient capacity to cater for all proposed Galilee Basin proponents.
Establishing the mine, rail and associated infrastructure will create 3500 jobs during construction and 2275 during operation in a massive boost to the state and national economies.
Waratah Coal managing director Nui Harris said the EIS approval by Greg Hunt, the federal Minister for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, was an important milestone for the project.
“The EIS process has involved consultation with a significant number of stakeholders including elected representatives, federal and state government agencies as well as non-governmental agencies, local councils, indigenous representatives, the private sector, public organisations and local residents,” Harris said.
Earlier this year the China First Project had its major project facilitation status renewed by the federal government until December 31, 2016. It has also been declared a significant project by the Queensland government.