A $1 BILLION coal mining project that could create about 500 jobs during construction is a step closer after being declared a co-ordinated project by the independent Coordinator-General.
The Winchester South facility, near Moranbah in the Bowen Basin, is owned by mining giant Whitehaven Coal.
The operation proposes an open-cut metallurgical coal mine that could produce up to 8 million tonnes of coal for 30 years.
The Coordinator-General will prepare draft terms of reference, on which the public will be able to comment.
If approved, the project is estimated to start construction in 2021, with the first coal extraction proposed for 2023.