Coal to be conveyed on Cap Highway

HANCOCK Coal is proposing to truck 450,000 tonnes of coal along the Capricorn Highway from Alpha through Emerald to Blackwater from September.

Company representatives have met with the Central Highlands and Barcaldine regional councils to iron out details of the four-month bulk coal sampling project which is a precursor to Hancock's planned $15 billion mega-mines 60km north-west of Alpha.

“In recent discussions with key local stakeholders, Hancock was asked to consider transportation by truck at night,” a company spokesperson said.

“This will be looked at as an option to reduce the overall time taken to transport the bulk sample.

“This will also mean trucks will operate at times when there is less overall traffic on the roads.

“This option will be further considered with the appropriate authorities.”

Hancock's current plan is for the temporary road transportation of coal from Alpha to the Jellinbah coal preparation plant near Blackwater for washing, before trucking to the Yongala rail loading facility for rail transport to Gladstone's Barney Point export coal terminal.

It is proposed trucks will operate on a 12-hour a day, seven day a week basis.

“It is important to note Hancock's preference in considering up to 14 different transport options for this one-off project was for transportation by rail wherever possible,” the spokesperson said.

“Hancock understands some community members may be concerned about increased truck traffic, but stresses this is a one-off temporary arrangement which will have a defined start and end date once all necessary approvals are finalised.

“When the Alpha Coal and Kevin's Corner mines are fully operational, all product coal will be transported by rail from the Alpha site through to the port of Abbot Point.

“Hancock wants to assure the communities along the transport route that effective planning and mitigations strategies are in place and we will closely monitor environmental and safety performance during this temporary operation.”

The company will wash the coal to reduce the tonnages being transported. All loads will also be covered.

Hancock will establish a hotline number community members will be encouraged to call with their concerns.

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