$6b Carmichael mine could revitalise employment market
THE release of the environmental impact statement for the $6 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project could mark the first stage in revitalising the sector in Queensland.
The project would establish the Galilee Basin as a major coal production region, and deliver several thousand jobs through construction and operational phases, on both the mine and rail link components.
The coal produced - as much as 60 million tonnes annually - would largely be exported to India, to service the domestic power production needs of the country's 1.2 billion citizens.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche described the release of the comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement for the $6 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project as an early Christmas present for Queensland. Mr Roche said progress towards development of the Galilee Basin as a major new economic powerhouse for Queensland was a welcome boost to confidence in otherwise testing times.
"It is no secret that the coal industry is doing it tough right now, but to see this continuing level of long-term commitment from Adani Mining confirms that Queenslanders can look forward to the future with increasing confidence," he said.
"The announcement is a welcome complement to news that another Galilee Basin proponent - GVK Hancock - and Bowen Basin miner QCoal are collaborating on coal transport services to link their respective projects with Abbot Point coal terminal.
"It's estimated that up to 8500 jobs (up to 3000 each in the construction and operational phases for the mine, and as many as 2200 to construct the railway with a further 300 operational roles) could be created by the Carmichael project, which proposes to start shipments from its Galilee Basin operations in 2016.
"The Carmichael mine and rail project is located about 160km north west of Clermont and will include combination open-cut and underground coal mining operations, which at full production could produce up to 60 million tonnes of coal per annum for India's rapidly expanding electricity market."
Mr Roche highlighted the importance of the project, not just in terms of job creation and economic stimulus in Queensland, but also for the millions of Indians currently without power.
"As the usual suspects rush to condemn news of progress on a major Queensland coal project, they might pause to consider the fact that the 2011 census reported that one third of India's households do not have electricity to power a light bulb," he said.