THE $1 billion expansion a coal mine in Queensland’s Darling Downs is a step closer after it overcame fierce local opposition and a lengthy legal battle to win environmental approval.
The Courier-Mail is reporting Queensland’s Environment Department has ticked off on coal miner New Hope’s amended Environmental Authority for the New Acland Stage 3 Project, west of Toowoomba.
New Hope’s final application included a range of stringent conditions to limit noise after local landowners had challenged the mine expansion in court.
New Hope managing director Shane Stephan said the project still needed to secure mining leases and an associated water licence.
“New Hope remains committed to delivering the New Acland Stage 3 Project and will actively work with the relevant government departments to progress through these steps,” he said.
“Obtaining final approval as soon as possible this year is critical to ensuring the continuity of operations and therefore employment for approximately 300 employees and 500 contractors currently engaged at the New Acland mine.”