JOBS PROMISE: Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has predicted 120 construction jobs and 120 full time mining jobs from the Colton coal mine.
JOBS PROMISE: Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has predicted 120 construction jobs and 120 full time mining jobs from the Colton coal mine. Jacob Miley

120-plus jobs promise from Lower Mary coal mine

THE state government says up to 120 long-term jobs will be created by the proposed $300 million Colton Coal mine near Maryborough.

That is on top of 120 direct full-time construction jobs setting the mine up, according to Mines Minister Anthony Lynham.

Dr Lynham yesterday announced approval of three mining leases for the New Hope Group's open cut coking coal project, 10 km north-east of Maryborough.

"New Hope has the major approvals it requires to create up to 120 direct full-time construction jobs and up to 120 ongoing production jobs,” he said.

Dr Lynham said the workers would be sourced from Gympie's Wide Bay region and the project would have flow-on benefits from business opportunities and money injected into the local economy.

"The project has been through a rigorous assessment process, including public objections and Land Court hearings.

"The mine has strict conditions governing water releases to protect the Mary River catchment, and to limit noise and dust," he said.

The mine is expected to produce half a million tonnes of high grade coking coal per year, to be transported 270km by rail to Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal at Gladstone.

The project will include a coal handling and preparation plant, workshops, offices, a haul road and have a production life of eight to 10 years.

Dr Lynham said New Hope had to meet strict environmental, financial and technical capability and public interest requirements, and address native title issues with traditional owners, to be granted its leases.

"The company now has to provide a plan of operations and financial assurance to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for work to start on site," he said.

Gympie Times


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