Welcome boost for $1b Moranbah coal project

Whitehaven Coal’s planned Winchester South coal mine near Moranbah will deliver hundreds of coal mining jobs and boost the Central Queensland economy for decades, CFMEU Mining & Energy said today.

CFMEU Mining & Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement that the $1 billion project would be declared a co-ordinated project, streamlining approvals.

If approved, the project is estimated to commence construction in 2021, with the first coal extraction proposed for 2023.

“This announcement means the Winchester South Coal Operations proposal has passed the major hurdles. It is now in the hands of the Co-ordinator General to get the mine up and running,” Mr Smyth said.

Stephen Smyth.

“It is great news for Central Queensland mining towns. In addition to direct jobs building and operating the mine, local businesses will also benefit from the economic activity the new mine generates.

“This is a welcome indication of the Queensland Government’s commitment to local mining jobs and industry.”

The Winchester South proposal is for an open-cut coal mine, producing predominantly metallurgical coal for steel-making over a period of 30 years.

At full capacity, the mine is targeting run-of-mine production of approximately 15Mtpa of coal. 

The new mine is expected to create about 500 jobs throughout the two-year construction period and up to 450 full-time jobs during operation.

Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert said the proponent would target local employment in regional towns.

Julieanne Gilbert.

“This is good news for places like Moranbah, Dysart and Coppabella, and provides even more opportunities for regional Queensland,” Ms Gilbert said.

Mr Smyth said the CFMEU looked forward to working with Whitehaven Coal to make sure the jobs generated by the mine were permanent, secure and well-paid.

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