The creation of thousands of jobs in Queensland could be in the pipeline if the China Stone Coal project goes ahead, according to the state government.
Approximately $6.7 billion of capital expenditure would go towards the initiative, which aims to develop a new thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin.
Such a huge project is likely to have a significant impact on the state’s natural resources labour market, including a boost for apprentices and trainees looking to earn industry qualifications.
MacMines Australia is planning to build the facility, creating 3,900 construction jobs during the two years it would take to complete the project. A further 3,400 operational roles could become available once the site is up and running.
The Queensland government has asked the public to offer their opinions on the recently published Environmental Impact Statement for the scheme. Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham described the China Stone Coal mine as an “important contributor” to the Galilee Basin’s future.
He added: “The site is located approximately 300 km west of Mackay, north of and adjacent to the proposed Carmichael Coal mine in Central Queensland.
“The project could realise significant economic and social benefits on a regional, state and national scale with the capacity to produce up to 38 million tonnes per annum of product coal.”
Resources development in Queensland
The China Stone Coal project will comprise a greenfield open pit and underground thermal mine. Dr Lynham confirmed it will be contained within a 20,000-hectare leasing area.
According to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), a number of mining companies are considering similar opportunities in the state. The organisation’s chief executive, Michael Roche, said the investment is far from over in Queensland.
“While many commentators have rushed to declare the end of resource sector investment in Queensland, a number of QRC members have reported they do have significant investment plans for the next 12 months,” he explained.
“Through [a] survey of CEOs, we learned of nine companies looking closely at greenfield investment opportunities, 11 more are moving to replace existing capacity, while another three are looking to expand existing operations.”
Each of these projects would add approximately $500 million to the state economy, he added. The China Stone Coal project is also expected to provide a boost for Queensland’s Treasury. The mine is due to contribute $5.9 billion to state and national revenues over its 50-year lifecycle.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Affairs Coordinator