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The construction of a new mine in Queensland is set to create 400 jobs, after receiving support from the Mackay Regional Council.
The Queensland Coal Exploration lodged an environmental impact statement for the Hillalong coal project, approximately 170km west of Mackay, saying that if approved, construction will commence in the second quarter of 2017, with first coal exports scheduled for 2018’s first quarter.
It is expected to produce thermal and coking coal with a mine life of approximately 17 years.
The Mackay Council outlined the benefits of the mine at the Economic Development and Planning Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The council stated that 75 per cent of the operational and construction workforces will come from the Mackay, Whitsunday, and Isaac regions.
Committee chair Amanda Camm said the mine was a good opportunity for the region, and said the council would look at the effect of more traffic heading to the mine through Walkerston, according to the Daily Mercury.
“It will also contribute to our argument that we need the Bowen Basin Service Link (Walkerston Bypass) to be committed to by state and federal government,” she said.
“As a region we have to recognise that that road not only is a major safety concern for our community but it is a critical piece of economic infrastructure that helps connect us to the Bowen Basin.
“It’s really important from an industry perspective but also a workforce perspective as well, that we can access that road safely and efficiently.”
This comes on the back of planned construction of the Meteor Downs South mine between Springsure and Rolleston in Queensland, once suitable transportation is found.