Central Queensland mine approvals bring on 130 good jobs

Published Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 at 12:36 PM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Two steelmaking coal mines in Central Queensland have been given the green light, bringing with them up to 130 good regional jobs.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the approval of Futura Resources’ Fairhill and Wilton projects near Emerald was a big boost for the regional workforce and economy.

“This investment is a strong vote of confidence in the Queensland resources sector and our state’s large deposits of high-quality steelmaking coal,” Mr Stewart said.

“These projects are in the heart of the Bowen Basin and will benefit from the existing infrastructure in place from nearby mines.

“At their peak, these two mines will produce more than three million tonnes per year of steelmaking coal, which will be processed then transported by rail to the Port of Gladstone and exported to key international markets.

“This means from Emerald to Gladstone, regional communities will benefit from job opportunities and the economic flow-on effects of these projects.”

The Wilton and Fairhill projects are located adjacent to one another about 50km north east of Emerald, with coal to be processed using existing infrastructure at the nearby Gregory-Crinum mine.

Construction works are set to begin in early 2023, with coal production expected to begin within six months.

Both mines have an initial 10-year proposed lifespan but could be expanded to more than 20 years with continued exploration.

Futura Resources Chief Executive Officer Ben Dunlop said coal continued to play a big role in Australia’s and the world’s steelmaking and energy mix.

“We see ourselves as a sustainable, low environmental footprint producer utilising nearby existing infrastructure, including coal processing facilities which will be 50 per cent powered by renewable energy by end of 2023, Mr Dunlop said.

“We believe these projects are well positioned to meet future market demand for high quality steelmaking coal and we will be supporting the people and communities of Central Queensland by using local suppliers and contractors where possible.

“One of the big upsides of advancing mining projects in Queensland is that we have very well-regulated safety standards, with mines that are well managed, progressively rehabilitated and environmentally sound.”

Mr Stewart said recent analysis by Queensland Treasury showed steelmaking coal will remain an essential international export commodity for the state until at least 2050.

“Treasury forecasts show Queensland will likely remain the world’s largest seaborne exporter of steelmaking coal for many decades to come,” he said.  

“Our state is blessed with the world’s highest quality steelmaking coal and a highly skilled workforce, which is why we continue to attract investment from companies like Futura.

“The Palaszczuk Government continues to back our resources industry, which directly supports about 75,000 good jobs across the state, particularly in our regions.”


Media contact: Chris Lees, 0434 859 940