Construction to begin on $1bn Olive Downs coal project in QLD

Monica Gameng   |   October 2, 2020
Olive Downs Coking Coal Project (cr: Pembroke Resources)

With final approvals granted, Pembroke Resources can now commence construction on the $1 billion Olive Downs Coking Coal Project in Central Queensland and create approximately 1,000 local jobs. 

Final approvals include granting of necessary mining leases, which is required before construction can begin. 

“This means that construction activities can now start, and the company can start hiring the 500 people needed to build the mine. 

“The resources industry has a long future in Queensland, whether it’s metallurgical coal from the Bowen Basin, bauxite from Weipa or rare earth minerals from the North West Minerals Province,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. 

The granting of final approvals also signal that Pembroke Resources can begin delivering jobs for the Mackay region. 

“Olive Downs can now proceed to deliver up to 500 construction jobs building the mine and its associated infrastructure including rail and transmission lines, water pipeline and access roads. 

“When at its peak production, and over its 79-year life, the mine will go on to employ up to 1,000 workers in the local region, including in and around Moranbah and Dysart,” Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said. 

According to Treasurer Cameron Dick, traditional industries plays a vital role in the State Government’s $8 billion plan to protect jobs as well as businesses of Queenslanders. 

“Right through the pandemic we have seen that Queensland’s traditional industries like resources and agriculture have held up well. 

“The resource industry is central to Queensland’s economic future, so right across the state it plays an important part in our plan for economic recovery. 

“Our strong health response and our strong borders have positioned us well for economic recovery,” the Treasurer said. 

Preparation work for major construction can commence immediately, following the grant of mining leases. 

“It’s expected core construction activities at the mine site 40km south-east of Moranbah will begin in 2021 with mining starting as soon as construction is complete. 

“At its peak, Olive Downs should produce up to 15 million tonnes per annum of metallurgical coal, which will be transported by rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal for export to key international markets like Japan, China, India and South Korea,” Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said. 

olive_downs_map_v04Project map (source: Pembroke Resources)

Over Olive Down’s 79-year mine life, it is expected to contribute an estimated $8 billion to the local economy as well as over $10 billion to the State economy. 

Pembroke Resources Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Barry Tudor said that the approval of mining leases was the final requirement needed to begin developing the first stage of the project. 

“We are extremely pleased to have been granted the mining leases, having consulted extensively with the local community over the past four years. In addition to our commitment to the environment, we have focused on creating local jobs and proactively engaged with all stakeholders, including establishing a strong relationship with Barada Barna as the traditional owners of the land, with whom we have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement and Cultural Heritage Management Plan in place,” Mr Tudor said. 

In addition, Mr Tudor said that key elements needed to commence construction on site have been assembled after mining leases were granted. This includes securing access to power, water, rail and port. 

Pembroke Resources estimates that Olive Downs will create an estimated 500 to 700 jobs during construction on site and a further 300 to 500 construction jobs in 2027. The company also estimates about 960 new jobs will be open for grabs once the mine is operational. 

“Pembroke is committed to providing workers with an opportunity to live in towns near the mine including Moranbah and Dysart and is building sustainable futures for people in the communities in which Olive Downs operates,” Mr Tudor said. 

The $1 billion Olive Downs Coking Coal Project will include: 

  • An open cut metallurgical coal mine 
  • A coal handling and preparation plant 
  • An 18-kilometre rail spur and on site rail loop 
  • A raw water pipeline connecting to the Eungella pipeline network 
  • Private access road 
  • Electrical transmission line 
  • Wastewater and sewage treatment plants 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; Pembroke Resources (1, 2); ABC News; Australian Mining 

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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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