New Acland mine

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New Acland mine is a project owned by New Hope Coal. The project is located 16km north west of Oakey in the Darling Downs region of Queensland. The company states that coal from the mine is "supplied to overseas markets and power stations in South East Queensland"[1]

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Background

In its 2009 Annual Report, New Hope Corporation states that the company produced 4.263 million tonnes of coal from the mine during the year. "New Acland has completed the initial development of a second open cut pit south of the current operations to maximise coal qualities and operating flexibility. First coal from this southern pit was processed in mid September 2008. An extensive operational and business improvement review was conducted between January and April 2009, which resulted in several business sector improvement targets being identified. Implementation of the key business improvement initiatives are underway with benefits expected progressively into the new year," the report states.[2]

"Planning is well advanced on the next incremental expansion at New Acland (New Acland Stage 3 expansion) to 4.8 million tonnes per year. The expansion is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2009/10, subject to construction contractor performance. The scale of this incremental expansion will maximise production within existing mining approvals and fully utilise available rail capacity," the report stated.[2]

Expansion plans

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics reports that New Hope Coal is considering an expansion project which it refers to as 'stage 4'. An Environmental Impact Statement on the project has been completed. The project will produce 5.2 million tonnes of thermal coal.[3]

"Additionally, significant progress has been made on a potential New Acland Expansion Stage 4 which would optimise staged future production pathways up to 10 million tonnes per year. The State Government of Queensland has designated the expansion to be a project of State Significance. The supporting mining lease application is on track with a decision by the Queensland Government expected during 2010 or early 2011, subject to the normal regulatory approval process and response to any objections to the lease grant. The final terms of reference for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were issued in 2008 and the Draft EIS has been completed. Submission of the Draft EIS is scheduled to occur during September 2009," the company's 2009 annual report states.[2]

Campbell Newman cans expansion

Following his election to parliament and appointment as Premier in early 2012 Campbell Newman announced that the government would not allow the doubling of one coal mine or the establishment of a proposed coal-to-liquids project due to their impact on agricultural land. New Hope Corporation had proposed to expand the New Acland mine, located approximately 150 kilometres west of Brisbane, from 5 million tonnes a year to 10 million tonnes a year of thermal coal.[4] The expansion of the mine, Newman stated, was "inappropriate". A spokeswoman for the Liberal National Party (LNP) told The Australian that "the LNP don't support open-cut coalmining on strategic cropping land anywhere in the state ... The LNP will not support the proposal for Acland stage three (because) it covers some areas of strategic cropping land, and would come too close to local communities." A spokesman for New Hope said that "we will continue to work with the new LNP government" but would not say whether they aimed to gain approval for an amended proposal.[5]

In its April quarterly activities report for the quarter, New Hope stated only that "submission of the supplementary EIS has been delayed from the planned submission date of mid April 2012 due to ongoing discussions being held with the new Co-ordinator General."[6]

Articles and resources

References

  1. "Acland", New Hope Corporation website, accessed August 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 New Hope Corporation, 2009 Annual Report, New Hope Corporation, page 6.
  3. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, "Minerals and energy: Major development projects", April 2010. (Pdf). The list is also available in Excel format here.)
  4. New Hope Corporation, "Acland", New Hope Corporation website, accessed June 2012.
  5. Natasha Bita, "Campbell Newman slams farm gate shut on miners", The Australian, March 29, 2012.
  6. New Hope Corporation, "Quarterly Activities Report: 30 April 2012", May 2012, page 4.

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