Qld approves $82m coal mine expansion

An $82 million extension to a central Queensland coal mine has been approved by the state government.

The Isaac Downs metallurgical coal mine has received final government approval and will be the third of its kind in the central Queensland coalfields. 

Forecasts predict 2.5 million tonnes of coal will be produced per year for up to 10 years, as well as revenue of $200 million in royalties.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart says the government’s go-ahead will spur economic activity in the region with an emphasis on supporting local jobs. 

“This project will mean mining jobs for another 10 years, including for the 300 mine workers currently at Isaac Plains, as well as jobs completing rehabilitation in the Isaac Plains East area until 2025,” he said.

“Isaac Downs will create up to 250 new construction jobs and business opportunities in and around Moranbah, as well as broader economic benefits for the Isaac region.”

Construction for the expansion is expected to begin in August with six years of site rehabilitation to be conducted before the land is handed back to the community.

Purchased in 2015 by mining company Stanmore, the Isaac Plains site was reactivated with the mine now producing metallurgical coal for export to Asian and European steel manufacturers.

Stanmore chief executive Marcelo Matos says the expansion is a commitment to the people of central Queensland and the region.

“The company is committed to participating in community development in the Isaac region and Isaac Downs will ensure ongoing employment opportunities for the Moranbah area as well as enhancing the economic development of the region,” he said.

Mining is expected to steadily slow at the site towards the end of 2021 with a transition to the newly approved Isaac Downs pit by late January 2022.

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