“This project is expected to create 1200 construction jobs and 495 ongoing operational jobs for up to 30 years,” Treasurer Andrew Fraser said.
“Construction of the mine could commence in 2011, with first coal exports by 2014.”
Queensland’s Coordinator-General set the most comprehensive conditions for a Queensland coal mine approval to date, according to Infrastructure and Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.
“The conditions set clear principles and procedures with respect to air quality monitoring, dust and water management, community consultation and the mitigation of potential social impacts of the mine,” he said.
“Other conditions include a requirement for extensive vegetation offsets and infrastructure agreements on road impacts, particularly the Peak Downs Highway.”
Should the development go ahead, the mine will be located close to the highway and near Moranbah.
Given the close proximity to the town, BMA will need to establish a network of 16 air monitoring stations plus a housing impact plan to provide necessary worker accommodation.
“The mine will produce 5.5 million tonnes of coal each year for the next 30 years and process an additional 2.5 million tonnes each year from BMA’s adjacent Peak Downs Mine,” Hinchliffe said.
“Further public consultation on the draft social impact management plan for the mine will occur over the next 12 months.”
While the Queensland government is enthusiastic about the project, it still awaits federal government environmental approval and is subject to further scrutiny by BMA.
“BMA welcomes the Coordinator-General’s approval of the Caval Ridge project environmental impact statement and report,” a BMA spokesperson said.
“Final owner approval for the project is subject to completion of feasibility studies estimated for the third quarter of 2011.”
The Caval Ridge project is part of BMA’s wider plans to ramp up production in the Bowen Basin.
Other projects include the $625 million Daunia mine proposal to produce 4Mtpa of high-quality coking coal over 21 years to start up in 2011, plus the Goonyella Riverside mine expansion to produce up to 9.5Mtpa of the commodity from 2013.
The EIS for the Goonyella Riverside expansion is expected to be made available for public comment before mid-2011.