New Hope Makes Progress on Coal Mine Expansion

- November 8th, 2018

The mine currently produces 4.5 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal, but the expansion will bump that number up to 7.5 million tonnes per annum for 12 years.

New Hope (ASX:NHC) has received a positive recommendation from the Queensland Land Court for its New Acland stage three coal mine expansion near Toowoomba in the Darling Downs area.

The Land Court has recommended that New Hope have mining lease and environmental authority amendment applications granted, subject to conditions such as the amendment of noise limits.

While the company states there are still further steps to go in receiving final approval for stage three, New Hope considers the recommendation a “positive step.”

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“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,” the company said.

It continues, “[o]btaining final approval in a timely manner 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.”

Also pleased about the Land Court recommendation was Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane, who highlighted the employment opportunities that the mine provides for local workers.

“The ruling will be welcome news for the people of Oakey and the Darling Downs whose future livelihoods would have been in jeopardy with resources depleting,” Macfarlane commented.

“The New Hope mine is one of the region’s most significant employers and one of the most important economic contributors for the Darling Downs. This is new hope for New Hope and the 3,000 workers who rely on the Acland coal mine for their living either directly or indirectly,” he added.

While the mine currently produces 4.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of thermal coal, the expansion will bump that number up to 7.5 Mtpa for 12 years. According to Macfarlane, the expansion will also employ 726 staff and contractors in 2025, while only 35 would be employed without the expansion.

Construction of the mine will take place over a three-year period and it will operate until 2031.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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