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Huge new mine project to hire 450 workers

The latest concept design for the Styx Coal Project near Ogmore, about 130km north of Rockhampton.
The latest concept design for the Styx Coal Project near Ogmore, about 130km north of Rockhampton. Amber Hooker

WHAT WE KNOW | STYX COAL PROJECT:

  •  Located 130km north or Rockhampton, near Ogmore.
  • 200 employees during construction, 250 during operations, emplyed from Rockhampton and broader CQ.
  • Potential to increase to 500 workers as operations ramp up.
  • Option to utilise southern coal terminals in Gladstone, resulting in coal haulages passing through Rockhampton.
  • The mine will be regulated by the Livingstone Shire Council.
  • Project will initially involve the mining of approximately 2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) with options of increasing to 5 or 10 Mtpa.
  • Open cut operation, extracting high grade thermal coal (HGTC) and/or semi-soft coking coal (SSCC).
  • Development expected to start in 2018, with a lifespan of 20-25 years until the current reserve is depleted.
  • Project is located on the Memelon property, north west of Marlborough, currently owned by QNI Metals Pty Ltd and leased to a third party.

HUNDREDS of drive-in-drive-out mine jobs could be up for grabs in Rockhampton, with a FIFO option for greater CQ.

Construction on the Styx Coal Project is expected to start in early 2018, with production to begin at the open cut site about six months later.

Located 130km north of the closest major centre, Rockhampton, the mine would be developed on the Mamelon property north west of Marlborough near Ogmore.

In a report presented to the Rockhampton Regional Council, Styx Coal have confirmed DIDO labour will be sourced locally from Rockhampton, Marlborough, St Lawrence, Sarina and Mackay.

The project requires 200 employees during construction and 250 employees during operations.

This could ramp up to 500 workers should operations increase to a projected 10Mtpa maximum coal throughput tonnages across the project's anticipated 20-25 year lifespan, until the current reserve is depleted.

Land tenure affected by the Styx Coal Project near Ogmore, about 130km north of Rockhampton.
Land tenure affected by the Styx Coal Project near Ogmore, about 130km north of Rockhampton. Amber Hooker

Styx hope to increase this from 2Mtpa to 5Mtpa of high grade thermal coal and/or semi-soft coking coal in the first two years of operation.

A small portion of the required workforce is expected to be FIFO from the broader Central Queensland coalfields area.

The report cites in the two years prior to 2016, more than one quarter of the Queensland mining workforce had lost jobs, equalling more than 20,000 positions.

"The project will positively contribute to the local and regional areas with increased direct and indirect employment opportunities through ongoing services ans support requirements," the report states.

The townships of Marlborough, Ogmore, St Lawrence and Clairview are identified as potential locations for workers' accommodation, with plans to develop further off-site accommodation in Marlborough for a bus-in-bus-out workforce.

The proposed land for both the mine development and rail infrastructure is predominantly grazing land in the Capricorn Coast region, also incorporating Rockhampton and Gladstone with smaller areas of coastal development.

Land tenure affected by the Styx Coal Project near Ogmore, about 130km north of Rockhampton.
Land tenure affected by the Styx Coal Project near Ogmore, about 130km north of Rockhampton. Amber Hooker

Joint proponents, Styx Coal Pty Ltd (Styx Coal) and Fairway Coal Pty Ltd (Fairway Coal) are the wholly own subsidiaries of Clive Palmer-owned Mineralogy Pty Ltd which has the mining rights for the site.

Styx Coal have identified the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT), in Hay Point south of Mackay, as the potential port to export the expected millions of tonnes of coal per year.

Though they are eyeing off two alternative terminals at the Port of Gladstone; RG Tanna Coal Terminal west of Gladstone and WICET, which has eight main port facilities west of RG Tanna and Golding Point.

The report states RG Tanna currently has a coal throughput of 64Mtpa, with a capacity of 75Mtpa and future plans to increase to 90Mtpa.

Operated by Port of Gladstone it is, by volume, the world's fourth largest coal export terminal.

WICET has a throughput of 8Mtpa, with capacity for 27Mtpa and feasibility studies into for an expansion up to 90Mtpa.

"Given the current exports per annum compared with the full operating capacity and the location of the Project to the North Coast Rail Line, both RG Tanna Coal Terminal and WICET are considered feasible port facilities to support the project," the report states.

Should they opt for the two Gladstone terminals, loads could be hauled through Rockhampton city.

The Rockhampton Regional Council have been asked to comment on the draft terms of reference for the Environmental Impact Study (EIS), with mayor Margaret Strelow identifying there are "significant issues with coal going through residential areas".

"The State Government has avoided doing it before in Mackay," Cr Strelow said during council's ordinary meeting yesterday.

However Industry Engagement senior executive Rick Palmer stressed the project was a "really good opportunity" with provision for people living in Rockhampton to secure work.

Should Styx opt to utilise the DBCT, a train loadout facility would need to be developed to connect into the existing North Coast Rail Line, which would require all new infrastructure to connect the existing coal loading infrastructure at the terminal.

A number of Commonwealth and State approvals are required before the mine gets the go-ahead for development, though it is currently unclear what stage each approval is at.

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