May 13, 2016
Moreton Resources claims its proposed Kingaroy coal mine will provide between 400 and 600 jobs on site and turnover of “tens of billions of dollars” during the life of the mine.
The company made the claims in a statement lodged with the ASX on Thursday.
The main aim of the document was to alert shareholders to the fact it had referred the project to the Federal Department of the Environment to determine whether it is a “controlled action”.
This move was foreshadowed in its ASX statement on Tuesday.
“This application, which is expected to be determined within the next 20 business days, is the first step in a very long process to bring this potential prospect into an operational thermal coal mine supplying the off-shore markets with quality thermal coal for power generation,” managing director Jason Elks said in the statement.
Under the Act, Environment Minister Greg Hunt has 20 business days from the receipt of a valid referral to decide if the proposal triggers the matters protected by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and thus requires a formal assessment and approval.
As part of the 20 business days, the EPBC Act provides a public comment period of 10 business days, with no extensions.
According to the Federal Government website, this provides an opportunity “for relevant Australian, State and Territory government Ministers and members of the public to comment on the proposed action”.
“As outlined in prior ASX announcements, MRV Tarong Basin Coal is seeking to advance the project through the relevant stages of approval, working ultimately to what the company would hope would be a mining lease approval within the next 18-24 months,” the Moreton statement to the ASX said.
“To date the company has worked with the relevant stakeholders and continues to develop its aspirations against the clearly stated time lines.
“The application lodged outlines the company’s intentions of developing a 6-10 Mt product capacity mine for primary export opportunity.”
The ASX statement said that “should Moreton successfully navigate the approvals processes and positive market conditions prevail”, the project had the potential of benefiting the South Burnett and Wide Bay by providing:
“Not only does this project have the capability to make a genuine difference in the region which has one of the highest youth unemployed rates in Australia, but also potentially to bring respite to a regional area that suffers from overall unemployment, declining economic prospects and significantly declining rural and residential land values across the region,” the statement said.
“Should this project move into operation, the financial contribution to that region, but also the State and Federal governments, would be significant in nature.
“As such, the company continues to follow the approvals process and continues to work with co-operation partners upon refinement of the potential operations, product specifications and working towards a final investment decision, in parallel with the approvals process, over the next 18-24 months.
“Further updates to the market are expected as we progress through the process, not only of approvals but also continued technical evaluation and determination of the project’s key milestones and decisions points for advancement.”