PUBLIC feedback about the proposed $1.5 billion Byerwen coalmine, which could produce up to 10 million tonnes annually of metallurgical coking coal for 50 years, is being sought after the draft terms of reference were released on Friday.
Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade Andrew Fraser said the feedback would be used for an environmental impact statement (EIS) to assess the project's potential social, environmental and economic impacts.
“The Byerwen coal project proposes a mine located at a greenfield site approximately 140km west of Mackay, near the mining townships of Collinsville and Glenden,” Mr Fraser said.
“The $1.5billion project could produce up to 10million tonnes per annum over 50 years of high-quality, metallurgical coking coal primarily for the Japanese and Asian export markets.”
Mr Fraser said the project could create up to 500 jobs during construction and up to 1000 when operational.
“If approved, this will be a substantial investment for Queensland and will secure the long-term future of surrounding townships.”
Mr Fraser said the proposed Byerwen coalmine was a joint project between QCoal and Japan-based JFE Steel.
“This project would be both an open-cut coalmine and an underground mine, and would use existing rail facilities to move the coal to the export terminal at Abbot Point.
“Construction of the mine could commence as early as 2012 following state and federal approvals.”
Co-ordinator-General Keith Davies, who released the terms of reference (TOR), said the scale, potential effects and complexity of project approvals required a rigorous EIS.
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