Infrastructure fast-tracked

THE Queensland Government has cleared a hurdle for the Sonoma opencut mine project by fast-tracking approval of the mine infrastructure development.

Staff Reporter

Mine owner, private company QCoal asked the state to approve the mine’s infrastructure as a facility of significance under state legislation designed to short-circuit approvals if a project is deemed is to have economic significance.

The mine, 6km south of Collinsville at the northern end of the Bowen Basin, is being developed as a 2 million tonne per annum coking coal mine and is expected to generate annual revenues of $200 million. Coal will be exported via the Abbot Point coal terminal, with which QCoal has already signed a contract.

The infrastructure facility, which covers approximately 302 hectares, will provide the necessary rail and other infrastructure to support the coal mine.

The Government said it was now left to QCoal to reach a commercial agreement with affected landowners to purchase the land.

If a commercial agreement cannot be achieved within the timeframe provided for by the Act, the Coordinator-General may decide to compulsorily acquire the land required for the facility.

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