Queensland’s independent Coordinator General approves $900m New Acland Coal Mine expansion

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Image credit: New Hope Group webpage

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney has announced that the planned $900 million New Acland Coal Mine expansion has been given the green light by Queensland’s independent Coordinator General.

Image credit:  New Hope Group webpage
Image credit: New Hope Group webpage

According to the Minister’s statement, the approval is subject to 137 strict conditions to manage the project’s impact including baseline studies and ongoing monitoring of water bores.

New Acland Coal’s original 2007 expansion plans were not supported due to “its effect on high quality agricultural land and proximity to local townships.”

“However since 2012, the proponent has reduced the project’s footprint by around 60 per cent and has relinquished 1,401 hectares or 28% of the mining lease area, including the town of Acland. Today’s decision from the Coordinator General is a significant step towards construction of this mine and great economic news for the Darling Downs and south-east Queensland,” Mr Seeney said.

“This mine expansion is set to create over 250 jobs during construction and another 435 operational jobs, as well as providing business opportunities in the nearby towns of Dalby, Oakey, Pittsworth and others. The reduced scope of this project in response to local concerns is a good example of a resource company working hard to achieve community confidence.”

New Acland is owned by the New Hope Group, an Australian-owned and operated diversified energy company.

“This is an important project for the Darling Downs and for Queensland. The New Hope Group has worked very hard over an extended period, and has consulted widely with the local community, on a revised compromise plan for the continuation of the New Acland mine which addresses concerns over the previous proposal. The approval of the New Acland Stage 3 Project ensures that the current employment and economic benefits are not lost to the Darling Downs and that New Hope continues to be a major employer in the region,” New Hope’s Managing Director Shane Stephan said in a news release.

“Stage 3 of the New Acland Project will now provide a further boost of $12 billion to the local, state and national economies over the life of the mine. The revised New Acland Project plan will extend the life of the current operation to about 2029, taking the number of full-time operational jobs to about 435, and creating another 260 jobs during the construction phase. The number of full-time contractors will increase to around 170 positions, and indirect jobs will grow by more than 1,500. The continuation plan will also boost social benefits and economic activity in the area through direct and indirect employment, investment and business opportunities – acting as an ongoing spur to the Darling Downs economy.”