The Brisbane-based Waratah Coal, a 100%-owned subsidiary of Mineralogy Pty Ltd., plans to build a thermal coal project in the Galilee Basin coal region near Alpha, west of Emerald in Central West Queensland, as part of its China First project. The mine will be linked to a proposed coal terminal at Abbot Point near Bowen by a new 453 km standard gauge, heavy-haul railway line, capable of carrying 400 million metric tons per year (mt/y).

Establishing the mine, rail and associated infrastructure, according to Waratah representatives, will generate 3,500 jobs during its construction phase and 2,275 jobs during operation in a massive boost to the state and national economies.

Managing Director Nui Harris said the environmental approval by the Ministry for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, marked an important milestone. “The EIS has involved consultation with stakeholders including federal and state government agencies as well as non-governmental agencies, local councils, indigenous representatives, the private sector, public organizations and local residents,” Harris said.

Earlier in 2013, China First enjoyed a Major Project Facilitation (MPF) status renewal by federal government officials through Q4 2016. It has also been declared a “Significant Project” by the Queensland government, and received state approval for the EIS from the Queensland Coordinator General in Q3 this year.