Major CQ coal project
Wednesday 04 January 2017
Two companies controlled by Clive Palmer, have taken the first step in the development of a large open cut, thermal and semi-soft coking coal project near Ogmore 130 kilometres north of Rockhampton.
Styx Coal and Fairway Coal - two subsidiaries of the Clive Palmer controlled Mineralogy business - made a submission known as a “referral” to the Federal Government just before Christmas outlining their plans for the Styx Coal Project.
“The Project consists of two open cut pit operations that will be mined using a truck and shovel methodology,” they said of the proposed 25-year project.
“The run-of-mine (ROM) coal will commence at 2 Mtpa with options to ramp up to approximately 5 Mtpa during Stage 1 (Year 1-2), where coal will be crushed and screened to HGTC with an estimated 95% yield.
“Stage 2 of the Project (Year 2-20) will include further processing of the coal within a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) to produce semi-soft coking coal, with an estimated 80% yield, and during Stage 2, production could potentially increase to a combined 10 Mtpa.”
Other notable elements of the proposal include the use of a long conveyor to move coal under the Pacific Highway at Deep Creek, and the construction of a brand new rail load out facility so coal can be loaded onto the North Coast Rail network and delivered either to Dalrymple Bay Coal terminal or Gladstone.
Under current plans, there will be 200 construction jobs generated, and roughly the same amount of operational jobs in the first two years. The vast majority of employees are expected to commute (DIDO) from nearby Central Queensland centres and stay at a new mining camp half an hour away in Marlborough while at work.
Despite their ambition to commence building the mine within twelve months, the proponents of the Styx Coal project still have significant obstacles to overcome.
First and foremost, they have to complete their viability statement - which they are currently working on - to decide whether the project makes financial sense which of course will be highly dependent on coal prices.
They then need to respond to any comments from the public surrounding the current “referral” stage of the project, before embarking on the large task of getting full-blown environmental approval from both the State and Federal Government, including dealing with any legal challenges in court.
There is also likely to be extended legal action over who has rights over the proposed project and Mamelon Cattle Station - which is home to the Styx Coal project.
In an April report to creditors, John Park from FTI Consulting who is handling the high-profile administration process for Queensland Nickel in Townsville claimed QN owns 80 percent of the Styx Coal Project - although Clive Palmer has disputed that.
It’s understood the lack of clarity around who has rights over the coal tenements explains why the sale of Mamelon Cattle Station failed to finalise at the end of last year.
The beef grazing property was passed in at auction after a bid of just $1.5 million - which is well below the previous price paid of $8.25 million by QN parent QNI Metals in 2010.
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