Generic view of coal train not far from the Anglo Coal German Creek mine, near the mining town of Middlemount, central Queensland.
Generic view of coal train not far from the Anglo Coal German Creek mine, near the mining town of Middlemount, central Queensland.

Feedback open on $1b coal mine

A $1 billion coal mine planned for Queensland's Bowen Basin has identified a host of endangered species that could live on the site but the State Government wants to know how they will protect the animals.

Queensland's Coordinator-General will today release draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement for Whitehaven Coal's Winchester South mine.

The mine, about 30km southeast of Moranbah in the Bowen Basin, could produce up to eight million tonnes of metallurgical coal a year for about 30 years if given the green light, creating 500 construction and 450 operational jobs.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron

Dick said the public could provide feedback on the project until July 19.

Longwall mining at a coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin.
Longwall mining at a coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin.

"Winchester South Coal Operations is proposing a metallurgical coal mine to support steel making, which would create more jobs in central Queensland and drive sustainable economic activity for the region," he said.

"The Coordinator-General is inviting Queenslanders to have their say on whether the draft terms of reference adequately cover all matters relating to the project's EIS."

The mine's Initial Advice Statement submitted in February identified eight potential endangered species on the site, including the Star Finch (eastern) and southern snapping turtle.

Under the draft terms of reference, Whitehaven Coal would have to assess the need for buffer zones and the retention, rehabilitation or planting of movement corridors for threatened species.

The company also needs to provide detailed plans for waterway barriers or measures to limit the impacts of construction and operation if they were unavoidable.

Assistant State Development Minister Julieanne Gilbert said Whitehaven Coal was committed to boosting employment in nearby regional towns such as Moranbah, Dysart and Coppabella.