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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Belvedere coal mine declared significant

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Belvedere coal mine declared significant

    A proposed $2 billion coal mine near Moura will undergo rigorous environmental assessment after being declared a significant project by Queensland’s Coordinator-General Colin Jensen.

    Belvedere Joint Venture is proposing an underground longwall coking coal mine, with associated above-ground facilities, seven kilometres north-east of Moura in the Bowen Basin, Central Queensland.

    It plans to mine multiple coal seams to produce up to two million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of metallurgical coking coal in the initial stage of operations, eventually exceeding 10 Mtpa.

    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 the local communities of the Banana Shire and Dawson region.

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

    “The company’s capital expenditure is expected to be around the $2 billion mark.”

    Belvedere Joint Venture is a consortium consisting of Vale Australia, Aquila Resources and AMCI.

    The Coordinator-General said the target coal seams have a high gas content that will require extensive surface pre-drainage works in order for underground mining to safely take place. As a result, the associated coal seam gas will also be mined.

    “The project covers an area of approximately 13,000 hectares and is adjacent to existing mining leases for an operational open-cut mine and historical underground mines,” Mr Jensen said.

    “It is near well established infrastructure including rail, power, water, roads and local mining communities that will service the project. Additional mining infrastructure will be required, including a rail spur to connect the project to the Moura-Gladstone rail line.”

    The Coordinator-General said a significant project declaration was not an indication of approval or support for a project.

    “This declaration is recognition of the significant complexity of the project, the substantial benefits it may bring and the need to carefully assess its impacts and how they could be mitigated if the project is approved,” Mr Jensen said.

    “This means it requires an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.

    “The assessment will be undertaken by way of a comprehensive EIS process that will be managed by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning on my behalf.

    “The next step is the preparation of terms of reference for the EIS. These will be circulated to key stakeholders and advertised for public comment in the coming months.”

    For more information on the Belvedere Coal project, go to www.dip.qld.gov.au/projects.

    Ends

    Media contact: Minister Hinchliffe's office, 3224 8750