Stanmore Coal’s $90 million Isaac Downs mining project, located approximately 10 kilometres south-east of Moranbah, has been declared a ‘prescribed project’ today.
Minister for Regional Development, Glenn Butcher, said the project would provide ongoing long-term employment for workers at the region’s existing Isaac Plains Mining Complex and also create new jobs and economic growth.
“Projects like this have the potential to play an important role for regional Queensland,” Mr Butcher said.
Pending necessary approvals and Stanmore Coal’s business plans, Mr Butcher detailed that construction could commence as soon as early 2021 with the mine possibly becoming operational in mid-to-late-2021.
“The construction phase of the project is expected to create 250 jobs,” he said.
“The project will also provide ongoing long-term employment for workers at the company’s existing Isaac Plains Mining Complex, with 220 workers transferred to the new mine.”
“In addition, Stanmore Coal estimates that when operational, the new mine will create an additional 80 new jobs.”
The proposed Isaac Downs Project would involve an open-cut coal mine and associated infrastructure and would extract between approximately 1 and 4 million tonnes per year of run of mine (ROM) metallurgical coal, with an approximate total of 35 million tonnes of coal over 16 years.
Stanmore Coal estimates the economic contribution generated by Isaac Downs for the region will be $2.5 billion over its anticipated mine life. A further $457.9 million is expected to be generated in economic contributions for the rest of Queensland.
The ‘prescribed project’ declaration allows the Queensland Coordinator-General to work with Stanmore Coal to ensure all necessary project approvals are obtained in a timely manner.
Stanmore’s CEO, Craig McCabe, said the project will enhance ongoing employment and community opportunities in the local district in a business environment affected by COVID-19.
“The prescribed project declaration will assist in securing timely approvals for the project, whilst providing high standards of environmental protection.”
The announcement was also welcomed by Isaac Regional Council Mayor, Anne Baker.
“It’s good news for the Queensland and national economies that this expansion project will extend the life of the mine and provide extra jobs,” Mayor Baker said.
“While the construction and operational phases are likely to see workers drawn from a wide area of Queensland, we look forward to seeing economic benefits flow for the Isaac Region as well.”
“All mining projects must go through a robust and comprehensive assessment process, but it is good news that this project is a step closer to coming to fruition,” she commented.
In January 2020 Stanmore Coal submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the Department of Environment and Science, a process which includes reviewing and responding to public submissions.