Global mining company Glencore will move forward with its planned, open cut coal mine after the government of Queensland approved special status for the project on Friday.
The $1.5bn Valeria coal mine development, will produce 20mn mt of metallurgical and thermal coal per annum over the next 35 years.
The Valeria project is located near Capella in the Central Highlands region of Queensland, Australia. Once operational, the project is anticipated to provide over 1,400 construction jobs and 950 full-time operational jobs throughout the life of the mine.
Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) chief executive officer, Ian Macfarlane said that Friday’s decision entailed the beginning of a wide-ranging review process for Valeria. He also expressed the value provided by endeavors like the Glencore project that created jobs, large investments, and exports.
Glencore said the step taken by the Queensland government is a major milestone for the company as it leads the project through its approval processes. Ian Cribb, chief operating officer for Glencore Australia’s coal assets, said the company’s Australian coal operations will continue producing high-quality coal that is needed to match global steel production levels and Asian energy demand.
Additional ecological surveys will be conducted as part of an environmental assessment expected to be presented in 2021. Provisionally, project construction will begin in 2024 and coal will be produced by 2026. Considerable community discussion will also take place along with thorough scientific study to recognize possible impacts of the mine going forward.
Glencore completed a deal in March 2018 to purchase and manage Rio Tinto’s 82pc interest in the Hail Creek coal mine and 71pc interest in the Valeria coal resource in central Queensland for $1.7bn cash.