The Queensland coordinator-general has approved the release of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed $1.76 billion Byerwen Coal Mine, located 140 kilometres west of Mackay at the Northern Bowen Basin.
Deputy premier and minister for state development, infrastructure and planning Jeff Seeney said that if the project is approved, it could create up to 350 construction jobs and up to 545 jobs when the southern and northern mine pits are in operation.
He also said that the project could provide a “huge boost” to one of the state’s four economic pillars – resources – which may also provide opportunities for apprenticeships in Mackay and wider Queensland.
Byerwen Coal’s EIS is a joint venture between QCoal and JFE Steel and is available for public comment until July 23 2013.
The project will comprise of four mining zones, with a total of eight open-cut pits, two coal handling and preparation plants, two train loading facilities and augmented power supply.
The open-cut coal mine also has the potential to deliver up to ten million tonnes of product coal per annum, which Mr Seeney says will be exported primarily to Asian steel mills over a 50-year project life.
Advice on how to make a submission is available at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/byerwen.