BY ELIZABETH FABRI
QCOAL will soon begin construction at its $1.76 billion majority-owned Byerwen coal project in North East Queensland after receiving State Government approval last month to develop two of its tenements.
The joint venture project between QCoal (85 per cent) and JFE Steel Corporation (15 per cent) was set to generate 350 construction jobs at peak, and a further 545 jobs once operational.
The open-cut mine would produce up to 10 million tonnes of high-quality coking and thermal coal per annum, which would be railed to Abbot Point Coal Terminal for overseas export.
QLD natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham welcomed the investment in the State’s resources sector.
“It’s particularly good news for locals, as the proponent has previously committed to hiring from Glenden, Nebo, Moranbah and Collinsville and across the wider region,” Dr Lynham said.
Queensland Resources Council deputy chief executive Judy Bertram said the announcement was a “huge shot in the arm” for central QLD.
“This is a big dose of export growth for Queensland’s premium coking coal, which is why Japan’s JFE Steel is investing in the project,” Ms Bertram said.
“This mine will also be a significant economic contributor to local communities and the wider Queensland economy.”
Byerwin coal mine was expected to begin shipping early 2018.