New $378 million Stanmore Coal mine

JUNIOR miner Stanmore Coal will bring more than 750 jobs to the Toowoomba and Surat Basin regions when it develops a Wandoan mine worth $378 million.

Construction could begin in early 2014 if the plan can leap the environmental stumbling blocks from the state and federal governments.

Mine management has already vowed to bring workers in from nearby towns rather than importing them from other parts of the country.

The publicly released Environmental Impact Statement for the mine said it could be operating and exporting before the end of 2015.

It is the fourth mine on the drawing board for the township, with multi-national Xstrata developing the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere to its west.Cockatoo Coal, MetroCoal also have planned mines nearby.

In the EIS for The Range, the company spells out that 385 jobs would be created during construction followed by up to 370 jobs once it is begins mining.

It will mine about five million tonnes of coal per year, exported via the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal being put together off Gladstone.

Stanmore co-founder and project development general manager Vaughan Wishart said the company would use workers who knew the area as part of its support for the region.

"We're supporting the Wandoan community and hoping to employ as many locals as possible," Mr Wishart said.

"There will be more drive-in, drive out workers from Toowoomba, Dalby and Chinchilla."

By the time the mine wraps up production in 2040, it will have paid $4 billion to all levels of government.

It will deliver almost four times that to the state economy in the same period.

The EIS stated the project would cause the loss of 178 hectares of Brigalow and Belah woodland, listed as a "threatened ecological community" under federal guidelines.

It added that relocating the fauna would help ease the amount of damage and that "potential negative environmental and social impacts do not outweigh the benefits of positive social and economic impacts".

Mr Wishart said The Range would consume environmentally sensitive areas only where it could not be avoided, with infrastructure planned to cause as little damage as possible.

Where these areas conflict with coal reserves, Stanmore would relocate it elsewhere.

The public can have its say on the project until June 27, with the EIS available from Stanmore Coal's website or Queensland Department of Environment.



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