Construction begins on $1bn Olive Downs coal mine in QLD

Monica Gameng   |   April 17, 2022
Rail infrastructure for Olive Downs (cr: Pembroke Resources)

The first sod of dirt has been turned, signalling the beginning of construction on Pembroke Resources’ $1 billion Olive Downs coal mine in Queensland. 

This brings good news to the region as the project is estimated to create up to 1,000 local jobs, helping stimulate the economy and bring in significant economic benefits to the State. 

“The Olive Downs mine is estimated to be worth $10.1 billion to the gross state product and will be an absolute jobs jackpot. 

“Over its lifetime, the mine will employ up to 1,000 workers in the local region as well as creating up to 700 construction jobs to build the mine and associated infrastructure including rail and transmission lines, water pipelines and access roads,” Resources Minister Scott Stewart said. 

The Olive Downs mine complex is located in the Bowen Basin, approximately 40 kilometres south-east of Moranbah. The billion-dollar project will consist of major infrastructure such as a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP), rail spur, train load-out facility, coal conveyor, stockpiles, electrical transmission lines as well as water pipelines and access roads. 

Olive Downs was declared a coordinated project in 2017 and this allowed the Coordinator-General to efficiently progress the mine development by assisting Pembroke Resources to navigate through the approvals process. 

This mining project is the first to be assessed under the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act and is also the first project that completed the enhanced social impact assessment process under the legislation introduced in 2018 by the Queensland Government. 

“We welcome Pembroke to the mining community and thank them for bringing a new opportunity of such incredible scale to this region. 

“It’s important our Council acknowledges the Queensland Government today. For years mining communities lobbied for a social impact assessment framework that gives Council a seat at the table to make sure mining projects are conditioned to support the communities that support them. 

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work on the first greenfield mining project assessed under the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act we fought so hard for,” Isaac Regional Council Deputy Mayor Kelly Vea Vea said. 

Commencing construction on the project will not only open new economic opportunities for Central Queensland, but also create new jobs. 

According to Pembroke Resources Chairman and CEO Barry Tudor, the company is committed to providing workers with the opportunity to reside in towns near the mine – including Moranbah and Dysart. Pembroke Resources will also commit to building sustainable futures for those living in communities in which the mine operates. 

“The high quality steel-making coal that will be produced from our mine will contribute to national and state economies as well as much needed infrastructure across the world, delivering economic benefits and jobs from a grassroots to a global scale. 

“We are already creating valuable jobs throughout the region with early works, from cleaners to signwriters to mining professionals, and we look forward to adding to workforce numbers and building even stronger partnerships with local communities,” Mr Tudor said. 

In addition to the mine’s economic impact, Olive Downs will also lead in terms of its environmental credentials by setting a new standard in conserving as well as protecting the environment. This is going to be made possible through Stage 1 and 2 native flora and fauna conservation areas that will be about 87 times the size of Brisbane CBD and established in perpetuity. 

The company will also undertake progressive rehabilitation of disturbed areas from the beginning of production along with rigorous, ongoing environmental monitoring that will ensure the protection of land and waterways. 

“We are proud of our strong partnership with the Barda Barna people. The ILUA we have signed will deliver a benefits package for the entire life of the mine, including jobs, skills and training opportunities, annual contributions and a strong cultural heritage management plan. 

“Along with the Barda Barna Traditional Owners, Pembroke Resources would like to thank the Commonwealth Government, the Queensland Government and the Isaac Regional Council for working with us to reach this important milestone,” Mr Tudor said. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; Australian Mining; Pembroke Resources 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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