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Mine development ramps up

A Bureau of Resources Energy Economics (BREE) report chronicling major projects in the mining industry shines a particularly bright light on the Bowen and Galilee basins west of Mackay and Rockhampton.
A Bureau of Resources Energy Economics (BREE) report chronicling major projects in the mining industry shines a particularly bright light on the Bowen and Galilee basins west of Mackay and Rockhampton. Peter Holt

ANOTHER 29 mining projects worth up to $75 billion are ready to start in Queensland and a further 101 are treading a path to approval.

Of those, two represent the biggest new investment in coal mining anywhere in Australia, with the Grosvenor underground and Eagle Downs mine worth almost $3 billion in total.

The pair will move a combined total of 9.5 million tonnes of coking coal - used for steel-making - between them.

A Bureau of Resources Energy Economics (BREE) report chronicling major projects in the mining industry shines a particularly bright light on the Bowen and Galilee basins west of Mackay and Rockhampton.

It appears to show BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is still the dominant power in the mining game, as it spent up to $4.4 billion on building its new Caval Ridge mine and expanding Peak Downs.

The development ranked as the most expensive coal mining project in Australia.

BREE resource manager Alan Copeland said Queensland had amassed 29% of all money funnelled into building resources projects nationwide.

"These are projects with all the approvals in place and the companies have made a public statement they will go ahead and build this project," Mr Copeland said.

"The overwhelming majority of projects in Queensland are around the coal industry, coal infrastructure and the three LNG projects under construction near Curtis Island, off Gladstone.

"It's a lot of capital expenditure, which requires employment.

"Whenever you have that, there are obviously flow-on effects."

For the 101 currently being considered for approval, Mr Copeland said it was not a reflection of investor jitters but a sign of industry patience.

"To put that in perspective, there are 29 under construction.

"To maintain that flow of employment, we would have to continue activity at that level.

"You would not want 100 more projects added to the current amount already under construction."

Topics:  bhp billiton mitsubishi alliance, bureau of resources and energy economics, mining


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