Central Queensland Coal Project
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Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
The Central Queensland Coal Project is a proposed opencast thermal and coking coal mine, formerly known as the Styx coal mine near Marlborough within the Livingstone Shire Council area, Queensland, Australia.
In 2021, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) published an Assessment Report that founded the project "posed a number of unacceptable risks and is not suitable to proceed" in permitting. In 2022, the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) objected to the project lease which overlaps with its new expanded training ground. The future of the project remains uncertain, and the International Energy Agency downsized the project to 2 million tonnes in 2022.
The exact location of the proposed Central Queensland Coal project is marked on the unnamed image below.
Coal Mine Background
On 2 February 2018 the proponent applied for a 12 month extension to the period to respond to submissions on the Environmental Impact Statement. The department agreed to the longer period to allow the proponent to address all submissions received on the EIS.
On 22 May 2018 the proponent provided a response to the submissions and an amended EIS. Subsequently, the proponent requested an additional two-year period to provide responses to those key matters raised in the department’s submission and other advisory bodies’ submissions on the amended EIS. The proponent was required to submit the updated EIS on or before 18 June 2020.
Central Queensland Coal Pty Ltd (CQCPL) was established in 2017 with the specific purpose of delivering the Central Queensland Coal project within the Styx Basin.
According to the Daily Mercury, two issues the council has the greatest concern about are the haulage of the coal on the coastal train line and the access to emergency services in the region.
"Significantly, St Lawrence and Clairview have been identified as host communities for members of the workforce at the planned mine,” Councillor Baker said.
"However, at this point there appears to have been little consideration given as to the impact of such a population growth scenario on these small communities, particularly the increased demand on local services and existing infrastructure. This extends to the capacity of existing emergency services to adequately provide coverage locally and in response to significant incidents. It is also proposed that the project will utilise the existing coastal rail line, which passes through our coastal communities, to access port facilities. The constraints of this rail line compared to the Goonyella system, which services mining interests to the west, is a particular issue. Small passing bays on the coastal line will require the configuration of coal trains to be shorter, meaning a higher number of train movements to achieve the same volume of freight.”
The Australia Institute says that Central Queensland Coal Project is not financially or economically viable and should not be granted any form of project approval. The project is not viable without government subsidies. It will not produce economic benefit for the proponents or the Queensland community unless major royalty holidays and subsidies are provided, subsidies that would come with a major opportunity cost for other Queenslanders. The Australia Institute's analysis is that, "The Styx proposal is less about developing a mine and more about increasing the asset value of the project for the proponent."
- Sponsor: Central Queensland Coal (99%) and Fairway Coal (1%)
- Parent Company: Mineralogy (100% of both subsidiaries)
- Location: 25km northwest of Marlborough
- GPS Coordinates: -22.679446, 149.659662 (exact)
- Status: Shelved
- Production Capacity: 10mtpa and downsized to 2 mtpa
- Total Resource:
- Mineable Reserves: 49.3 million tonnes
- Coal type: Semi-soft coking coal and thermal coal in later years
- Mine Size: 3,028 hectares
- Mine Type: opencast
- Start Year:2027
- Source of Financing:
Articles and resources
- Queensland Government, "Proposed Central Queensland Coal Project (Styx Coal Project)", Proposed Projects, 25 July 2019.
- Queensland Central Coal Project, April 28, 2021.
- Rory Callinan,Defence has environmental and security concerns about Clive Palmer's proposed central Queensland coal mine, March 17, 2022
- Coal 2022, IEA, accessed 2022
- Central Queensland Coal, "Central Queensland Coal Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 5: Land", page 7, Figure 5-1, 'Project soil sample locations' CDM Smith, 24 October 2017.
- Central Queensland Coal, "Central Queensland Coal", CQCPL website, accessed 3 December 2019.
- Troy Kippen,[ https://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/concerns-over-significant-impact-of-new-cq-coal-mi/3333582/ "Central Queensland Coal"], Daily Mercury website, 13 February 2018.
- Australia Institute, "Styx Coal Project: Submission", Australia Institute website, 19 December 2017.
- Central Queensland Coal, "Central Queensland Coal Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 2: Project needs and alternatives", page 2, Figure 5-1, 'Project soil sample locations' CDM Smith, 24 October 2017.