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Construction will soon get underway on what will become Queensland’s third-largest coal mine, 40 kilometres south of Moranbah in the Bowen Basin.

Key points:

  • The mine is predicted to have an 80-year life
  • It will produce 15 million tonnes of metallurgical coal a year
  • Miner Pembroke says it has a land use agreement with traditional owners

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the State Government had signed off on a mining lease for the Olive Downs Coking Coal Project, run by Pembroke Resources.

The central Queensland mine will have a production life of 80 years and the Government says it will create 1,000 jobs.

The Government did not provide forecasts for how much it would collect in mining royalties, but the number is expected to be in the billions.

“Let me say very clearly that not only do I support the coal industry here, but I’ve also been over to the steel mill in Japan,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Nearly every single household utilises steel in some form or another, and steel is going to be part of our lives for many years to come.”

Pembroke said it would produce up to 15 million tonnes of metallurgical coal per year.

A map of coal mine sites in central Queensland
The Olive Downs coal project will be Queensland’s third-largest coal mine.(Supplied: Pembroke Resources)

It will be exported to international markets in Japan and China.

Pembroke CEO Barry Tudor said the mining lease approvals were the final hurdle to beginning stage one 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,” he said.

“In addition to our commitment to the environment, we have focused on creating local jobs and proactively engaged with all stakeholders.”

Mr Tudor said the company had established a relationship with the traditional owners of the land, the Barada Barna.

“We have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement and Cultural Heritage Management Plan in place,” Mr Tudor said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she expected construction would start within months.

“There’s no legal action with Olive Downs — Olive Downs is good to go,” she said.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington criticised Ms Palaszczuk for her record on advancing resources projects, but said she supported the mining lease for Olive Downs.

Headshot of Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington at a media conference.
Deb Frecklington says the Premier has “moved the goalposts” on mining projects.(ABC News: Chris Gillette)

“I will always support jobs in regional Queensland, and I’m a big, bold supporter of the resources industry,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The Premier’s not going to hoodwink Queenslanders with this fly-in, fly-out visit.

“This coming from a Premier who has moved the goalposts on projects like Adani and New Hope.”

Once complete, Olive Downs will be around the same size as the proposed Adani project.

Ms Palaszczuk said her Government had approved $21 billion in resource projects in the current parliamentary term.