Major boost to Moura mine

A PROPOSED $2 billion coal mine near Moura, expected to create more than 1000 jobs, has had a big boost by being declared a significant project by Queensland’s Coordinator-General Colin Jensen.

The Belvedere project, a joint venture between Vale, Aquila Resources and AMCI Holdings Australia, proposes an underground longwall, coking-coal mine seven kilometres north-east of Moura.

It plans to mine multiple coal seams to produce up to two million tonnes a year in the initial stage of operation, with plans to exceed 10 million tonnes.

Belvedere project manager Paul Sullivan said the Belvedere Joint Venture had voted to try to have the project declared a significant project requiring an EIS by the State Government in 2008 and the main result was that the EIS would be conducted via the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act through the Department of Infrastructure and Planning.

He said the Government’s agreement to this process would mean flexibility with the terms of reference for the project approvals required due to the early stage in the project life that the EIS starts.

“The Coordinator-General’s involvement in the EIS may bring efficiencies in the government agencies’ responses and input into the EIS giving earlier, more clear information for key stakeholders and members of the community,” Mr Sullivan said.

“The Coordinator-General will be able to plan accordingly as the person responsible for the EIS for all off-site infrastructures that the project is reliant upon (port, rail, and water) as well as the Belvedere Project.

“It is important to understand the statement surrounding the fact that the declaration as a significant project does not immediately equate to government support for the project.”

Infrastructure and Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe welcomed the significant project announcement.

“The proposed mine is expected to create more than 600 jobs during construction and require at least 500 permanent positions to operate,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“A number of these jobs will be filled from local communities of the Banana Shire and the Dawson region.

“The project, if it proceeds, will deliver around $965 million to Queensland in royalty payments over its 30-year life.”

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