$1.7b new mine might not help investors, Moranbah

Grosvenor, near Moranbah, will see a new $1.7 billion coal mine, according to the Queensland State Government this week, yet this might not help investors in the region.

The Anglo American project will created up to 1,000 new jobs, according to natural resources and mines minister Andrew Cripps.

However, he also said that the approval was based on requirements for Anglo American to provide accommodation answers for local workers.

“The Queensland Government will work closely with the company and the Moranbah community to address key issues such as accommodation availability and infrastructure support,” he said.

“Residential infrastructure is a critical issue for Moranbah and I am pleased that Anglo American is working with other local coal companies to develop and ensure the availability of accommodation and key community facilities.

“I am advised this company will offer a range of accommodation options to its workforce and build more than 50 new houses and townhouses in the Moranbah area.”

Site construction will begin soon, with first development coal production to begin next year, and longwall mining planned for 2016.

The mine is expected to produce up to seven million tonnes per year of high quality hard coking coal.

http://www.spionline.com.au/2012/06/new-1-7b-moranbah-mine-might-not-help-investors/

Anglo mine approved where Bandanna failed

THE Queensland government has approved Anglo American’s $1.7 billion coalmine in the Bowen Basin region of central Queensland, just days after it told Bandanna Energy to re-submit a plan for another mine in the area on the grounds that it was on good farming land.

The Anglo American mine, near Moranbah, inland from Mackay, has already received federal government environmental approval.

After production starts next year, it is expected to produce up to 7 million tonnes a year of high-quality hard coking coal, which will be crucial for Anglo American to meet a target of tripling its coking coal production by 2020.

But in a mark of the sensitivity of the fly-in, fly-out issue, the company has also had to undertake to build 50 houses and townhouses in the Moranbah area, with 16 new homes being completed in February and a further 25 townhouses and four houses are under construction.

Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the mine would create 1000 jobs for Queenslanders in the construction phase and 350 permanent jobs.

“A detailed environmental impact statement was approved late last year by the Queensland government, and also by the commonwealth government pursuant to the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” he said.

The approval comes at a time when tensions are mounting in the mining industry about investment in Australia, with many companies focusing on costs and preparing for the impact of the carbon tax.

The Queensland government also used the announcement of the approval to highlight its support for mining, especially coming only days after it asked Bandanna Energy to re-submit an application for its proposed Springsure Creek project, which is also in the Bowen Basin but about 300km southeast.

Although the two projects are broadly in the same area, in practice the Bandanna Energy project is in the fertile “Golden Triangle” area, where wheat farmers in particular have been very vocal about the impact of mining on their operations.

Mr Cripps said the company’s application did not meet Queensland’s stringent approval process and was rejected. However, he also invited the company to submit a new application.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/anglo-mine-approved-where-bandanna-failed/story-e6frg9e6-1226389547537

UPDATE 1-Anglo American cleared to build $1.7 bln Australia coal mine

Thu Jun 7, 2012 11:04pm EDT

* Mine to produce up to 7 mln tonnes a year coking coal

* Production expected to start in 2013

* State requires company to build housing (Adds Anglo comment)

MELBOURNE, June 8 (Reuters) – Australia’s Queensland state has given Anglo American final approval to build a A$1.7 billion ($1.7 billion) coal mine, paving the way for the Grosvenor mine to start producing coal for export to steel mills in 2013.

The Grosvenor project, designed to produce 7 million tonnes a year of high quality coking coal, is crucial for Anglo American to meet a target of tripling its coking coal production by 2020, the company said.

The decision by the company to go ahead with the mine comes despite loud complaints by the industry about sharply rising operating and capital costs in Australia, regulatory red tape and a carbon tax and mining tax, both taking effect in July.

Final approval followed environmental clearance from the state and federal governments last year.

“The Grosvenor mine will create up to 1000 new jobs for Queenslanders and represents a significant expansion of Anglo American’s Queensland operations,” the state’s Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said in a statement.

Anglo American said it would begin construction work now, with first production expected in 2013 and longwall mining to begin in 2016, in an operation similar to its existing Moranbah North mine.

The project is near Moranbah, a community that has been strained by the coal mining boom in Queensland and an influx of workers who fly in and fly out, putting pressure on local services and infrastructure.

The state has required Anglo American to build homes for workers to help bolster the community as a condition of the mining licence, with the company saying it will build more than 50 new houses and townhouses in the Moranbah area.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/08/angloamerican-coal-idUSL3E8H805Q20120608

New Moranbah mine to create jobs

A NEW mining lease near Moranbah is expected to create up to 1000 new jobs if the company behind it can accommodate local workers.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the Governor in Council this week approved the development of the new $1.7 billion Grosvenor Coal Mine.

He said the mine, which met state and federal environmental requirements, was a significant expansion of Anglo American’s Queensland operations.

Residential infrastructure is a critical issue for Moranbah and Mr Cripps said the company planned to build more than 50 new houses and townhouses in the Moranbah areas.

“The Queensland Government will work closely with the company and the Moranbah community to address key issues such as accommodation availability and infrastructure support,” he said.

Mr Cripps said the Grosvenor project would create many opportunities and significant income in the region across its 40-year lifespan.

He said site construction would begin soon with first development coal production from 2013 and longwall mining from 2016.

“This mine will deliver direct economic benefits and jobs to the local Moranbah community, as well as royalties which support infrastructure and services that benefit all Queensland communities,” he said.

“It is expected to produce up to seven million tonnes per annum of high quality hard coking coal, yielding some five million tonnes per annum of product coal for export.”

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2012/06/08/new-moranbah-mine-create-jobs/

Union downplays mine lay-offs

By Jennifer Huxley

Updated April 30, 2012 10:50:54

The Construction, Mining, Forestry and Energy Union (CFMEU) says the community should not panic about a company’s move to downsize its Bowen Basin workforce in central Queensland.

Twenty contracted workers at Anglo American Coal’s Foxleigh mine have been laid off and employees at the company’s Moranbah North site, south-west of Mackay, have had their hours reduced.

CFMEU spokesman Steve Smyth says it is a common practice at the end of the financial year.

“That’s one of the issues of having labour hire employees and those who are not engaged in fixed-term, full-time employment,” he said.

“Their jobs are like seasonal workers – they can have a job now and not tomorrow and that’s one of the issues that we face in the mining industry.

“It’s not good but it does happen as it gets towards the end of the financial year.

“It has been a practice in the past in other places.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-30/union-downplays-mine-lay-offs/3980188/?site=tropic&section=news

Anglo doubles mine plan at Moranbah South

BRITISH miner AngloAmerican is planning one of Australia’s biggest coalmines, which will more than double the expected size of its Moranbah South underground mine.

But the trade-off appears to be a two-year delay on operations, which is now not slated to start producing coking coal until 2017.

In documents submitted to the federal Environment Department, Anglo says it plans to export up to 14 million tonnes a year from two underground coalmines at Moranbah South, 150km southwest of Mackay.

This would make it close to the nation’s biggest export coalmine (underground or open pit) rivalling BHP Billiton’s Goonyella and Blackwater mines, which also produce about 14 million tonnes a year.

Anglo’s 50 per cent partner in the mine, Exxaro Resources, had previously flagged a mine that would export 6.5 million tonnes of coal a year from 2015.

The cost of that mine, according to the latest estimate from the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, was $1 billion, meaning a probable $2bn-plus price tag on the new plan.

Anglo’s Brisbane office was unable to comment yesterday on its plans other than to say average production would be 12 million tonnes a year.

The project is aiming for a peak production rate of 18 million tonnes a year of mined coal, from which 14 million tonnes of exports would be gathered.

Construction, if approved, is expected to start in 2014.

Matt Chambers – The Australian

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/anglo-doubles-mine-plan-at-moranbah-south/story-e6frg9df-1226323271989