GOOD NEWS: A new $1 billion coking coal mine at Olive Downs near Moranbah will deliver 1500 jobs over its lifespan.  INSET: IRC mayor Anne Baker says approval of the mine shows confidence in the industry.
GOOD NEWS: A new $1 billion coking coal mine at Olive Downs near Moranbah will deliver 1500 jobs over its lifespan. INSET: IRC mayor Anne Baker says approval of the mine shows confidence in the industry. Contributed

New mine to bring jobs

THE recent approval of the $1billion Olive Downs metallurgical coal mine in the Bowen Basin has returned confidence to the industry after recent anti-coal protests.

Isaac Regional Council mayor Cr Anne Baker said the Coordinator-General's approval of the project stood in "stark contrast to the picture being painted by those seeking to undermine the industry”.

"Olive Downs is the first new resources project in the region to reach approval stage under the provisions of Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act,” Cr Baker said.

"Council advocated long and hard for the introduction of this Act to ensure communities bearing the impact of resources developments also genuinely share in the benefits these projects deliver.

"As this is new ground, we have been provided strong assurances by both the Coordinator-General and Pembroke Resources that council will continue to play an integral role in framing these community commitments moving forward.

"Our expectation is that the intent of the Act will be fully realised and the communities of our region will receive a fair economic and social dividend.

"We will settle for nothing less.”

A spokesperson for the Coordinator-General said the project would contribute an estimated $8billion to Gross Regional Product of the Isaac region and $10.1billion to the GRP of Queensland.

"The project is expected to create an average of 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during construction and an average of 1000 FTE operational jobs over an anticipated operational life of 79 years,” the spokesperson said.

Mine owners Pembroke Resources has said employees would be sourced locally from Moranbah, Nebo, Dysart and the surrounding areas, with no fly-in, fly-out rosters.

The project will produce metallurgical coal, also known as coking coal, which is use to create coke - one of the key inputs to produce steel.

"Coking coal produced in the Bowen Basin is in high demand for use in steel production in Asia,” the spokesperson said.

Though some new rail, water and electrical infrastructure will be installed to service the mine, this will be connected to existing infrastructure.