An open cut coal mine in Queensland.
An open cut coal mine in Queensland. Robert Rough

Plans reveal Chinese-backed CQ coal mine touting 200+ jobs

A CENTRAL Queensland mine that would ship 1.9 million tonnes of coal out of Gladstone a year and create more than 200 jobs has taken another step forward.

Chinese steel giant Baosteel is seeking permission from the Federal and State Governments for its Bowen Basin-based Walton Coal Project.

In new documents lodged with the Australian Government, the company said its project would create 100 construction jobs and an average of 169 full-time operational and management jobs once built.

It said Central Queensland region businesses would be given first preference for supply opportunities.

The site for the small open pit mine is on the existing railway to Gladstone Port.

The estimated 15.6 million tonnes of coal they hope to mine over eight years would travel 280km to either RG Tanna Coal Terminal or Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.

Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan cemented his support for coal during a recent industry conference.

Mr O'Sullivan expects metallurgical coal, which the Walton Coal Project would produce, to increase due to demand from India and China.

"We anticipate a massive increase in renewables, but (some) countries which are continuing to develop have to fill their long term energy needs and will require coal and gas out to 2035," he said.

The company said the project would supply the Queensland Government with about $173 million in royalties and would provide regional communities positive "flow-on effects" including employment and business confidence.

The parent company of Walton Coal is Aquila Resources, a part-owner of Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, which was taken over by Chinese steel giant Baosteel in 2014.

The south Bowen Basin-based project is still in its early stages though, given it still needs to submit an environmental impact study.

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