Queensland looks like adding a new coking coal mine to its ranks after the state government approved mining leases for Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs project.
The granting of the leases follows approvals from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in early 2020, and the grant of the Environmental Authority by the Queensland Government in 2019.
Pembroke Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Barry Tudor, thanked Minister Anthony Lynham for the mining lease approvals, saying they were the final approval hurdle to commence the first 6 Mt/y stage of the project.
Olive Downs is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs in the region as the project is developed to produce up to a forecast 15 Mt/y of saleable coal over its 79-year mine life.
CIMIC Group companies Sedgman and CPB Contractors will carry out the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of the operation’s coal handling and preparation plant, which will have sufficient capacity to process the first phase of annual production of up to 6 Mt of run of mine coal from Olive Downs, according to Pembroke.
“We are extremely pleased to have been granted the mining leases, having consulted extensively with the local community over the past four years,” Tudor said. “In addition to our commitment to the environment, we have focused on creating local jobs and proactively engaged with all stakeholders, including establishing a strong relationship with Barada Barna as the traditional owners of the land, with whom we have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement and Cultural Heritage Management Plan in place.”
With some 838 Mt of JORC resources and 514 Mt of open-cut JORC reserves of coking coal, Olive Downs is widely acknowledged as a potential Tier One steelmaking coal project, Pembroke says. Strategically positioned in the Bowen Basin and with access to infrastructure, the project will supply steelmaking coal to markets globally and continues to attract strong interest within the industry across Asia, including Japan, Korea and China.
Olive Downs has already assembled the key elements required to commence construction following the grant of the mining leases, including securing access to power, water, rail and port, even as finance and offtake partners are finalised.
Olive Downs is 100% owned by Pembroke, an Australia-based specialist steelmaking coal company and is backed by its major shareholder, Denham Capital, a leading global energy and resources private equity firm.