A miner handles high-quality coking coal.
A miner handles high-quality coking coal.

500 JOBS: Miner mulls over CQ metallurgical project

A DECISION on whether to progress construction of a new underground mine near Moranbah will be made by the end of the year.

The Eagle Downs metallurgical coal project is expected to deliver 500 new jobs if it goes ahead.

Resource quality drilling has been completed at the site ahead of the key investment decision later this year.

The joint venture between South32 and Aquila Resources involves construction of a multi-seam underground longwall metallurgical coal mine and processing plant with a dedicated rail spur and train loadout facility.

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South32 completed the acquisition of its 50 per cent interest in the project in 2018.

Eagle Downs is located about 25km southeast of Moranbah, adjacent to BMA's Peak Downs mine.

A map of the Eagle Downs project.
A map of the Eagle Downs project.

"The project is an attractive development option within our growing portfolio," South32 stated on its website.

In May, Eagle Downs was named in the Queensland Resources Council's wishlist of projects that it wanted the government to expedite approvals for.

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The QRC wanted the following major coal projects to be fast tracked:

New Acland Stage 3 that is set to create 487 jobs

South32's Eagle Downs (500 jobs)

Winchester South Whitehaven (450 jobs)

Olive Downs (1000 jobs).

Plus these projects in the Galilee Basin:

Galilee Coal and Rail Project that is set to create 2325 jobs

China Stone Coal Project (3400 jobs)

Kevin's Corner Project (1600 jobs)

Alpha Coal project (990 jobs).