New mine a step closer

THE $900 million mine that would provide up to 500 new jobs for the region is one step closer to reality.

The Eagle Downs project, which is half-owned by Perth-based Aquila Resources and half-owned by a subsidiary of Brazilian miner Vale, has now entered the environmental impact study stage en route to its approval.

The underground mine project will be built 20km south-east of Moranbah and produce up to 11 million tonnes of coking (steel-making) coal a year.

When general manager of the company's coal arm, Stephen Pilcher, spoke exclusively to the Daily Mercury in March, he said the project would equal the size of the Anglo Coal-owned Moranbah North mine. If the project ticks all the State Government's boxes, the mine could be under construction by late next year.

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Prospects for coal uncertain

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Biloela couple selected for Baton Relay

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