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    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Funds in place for Bowen Basin mine plan

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Funds in place for Bowen Basin mine plan

    The State Government has welcomed BHP Billiton’s confirmation of US$267 million of additional funding to develop a new $4 billion Bowen Basin mine project and expand a key coal terminal near Mackay.

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said BHP Billiton and its joint venture partner Mitsubishi Development Corporation proposed to expand their Bowen Basin operations by around 20 million tonnes a year.

    “The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) obviously sees a long and rewarding future in Queensland’s high-quality coal for exports to India, China and beyond,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The proposed Caval Ridge open-cut coal mine project could produce an extra 5.5 million tonnes of coking coal each year for the next 30 years.

    “This project has the potential to create 1200 construction jobs and the mine could also employ up to 500 people.

    “The company’s plans for the Caval Ridge mine are still undergoing environmental assessment by the Coordinator-General but we welcome this commitment to further feasibility studies and project activities.

    “The final report from the Coordinator-General on Caval Ridge's Environmental Impact Statement is expected within the next few months.”

    BMA also plans to lift production from its neighbouring Peak Downs mine by 2.5 mtpa for processing at a new coal handling and preparation plant at Caval Ridge.

    Caval Ridge is just one part of a larger Bowen Basin Coal Growth Project proposed by BMA that includes the development and operation of the Daunia Mine, expansion of the existing Goonyella Riverside Mine and the relocation and upgrade of Moranbah airport.

    Daunia Mine gained approval for its EIS from the Coordinator-General in October last year. The other parts of the project will still have to undergo separate environmental assessments.

    The company also announced yesterday a commitment to increase Hay Point Coal Terminal output by 11 million tonnes per annum, pending government approvals.

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