Colton coal closer
Wednesday 23 November 2016
New Hope coal is hopeful a victory in the Land Court this week will clear the way for State Government approval of the proposed Colton Coal mine ten kilometers north of Maryborough.
Attempts to develop the mine have been going since at least 2010, and this week's court victory dismissed one of the last remaining obstacles to the granting of a mining lease.
The Aldershot and District Against Mining Group unsuccessfully argued that the proposed new mine would create dust and noise pollution in nearby communities and that disposal of mine water into the nearby Mary River would harm local ecosystems.
In response to the court's decision, New Hope said it hoped it could move forward with the project soon.
"New Hope Group is pleased with the Land Court's recommendation that the Colton coal mine be granted a Mining Lease,” they said.
"This is just one step of the approvals process and we now look forward to the Minister's final decision.”
In documents submitted to the Land Court, New Hope estimated that the Colton coal mine would produce approximately $80 million worth of coking coal a year for ten years, and create more than 100 jobs in construction, and a similar number during operation.
The Colton Project area lies in the Burrum Coalfields where small-scale underground mining was carried out from 1865 until the late 1990s. After first phase exploration and a review of data from last century, an initial five million tonne inferred resource was announced in 2009.
Today, New Hope says the marketable reserve, supported by a substantial inferred resource, could produce 0.5 million tonnes of coking coal a year from the proposed open cut Colton Mine with significant expansion opportunity to extend the project duration.
Mining Lease Applications were first made in 2010 with the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) submitted to the Queensland Government in August 2010.
Recent exploration activity has focused on resource definition, geotechnical studies, coal quality and washability, and coke oven testing. Rail capacity is being contracted to transport product coal to the Gladstone Port.
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