A new $1 billion coal mine complex has officially opened in Central Queensland.

Queensland Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart, said that Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs mine will produce high quality steelmaking coal and has the potential to generate more than $10 billion for the Queensland economy.

Located 75 minutes drive from Moranbah in the Bowen Basin, the Olive Downs project includes major infrastructure including a coal handling and preparation plant, rail spur, train load-out facility, coal conveyor, stockpiles, electrical transmission lines, water pipeline and access roads.

Olive Downs is expected to produce up to 15 million tonnes of steelmaking coal each year over the next 80 years.

The coal will be transported by rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, for export to key international markets such as Japan, India and South Korea.

More than 700 people were employed during the construction of the project and an operational workforce of 1,000 is anticipated at peak production.

The Olive Downs project was the first to be assessed under the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act.

Mr Stewart said, “I was here two years ago as we turned the first sod on the Olive Downs project and it’s great to be here today to see the mine officially open.

“The Bowen Basin is the engine room of Queensland’s resources sector, supporting nearly 44,000 people in jobs along the supply chain.

“This mine has already created more than 700 jobs during the construction phase and in the next decade will employ an expected 1,000 people.”

Mr Stewart said that the flow-on effects for the Bowen Basin and communities like Moranbah are immense.

“The global demand for Queensland’s steel-making coal will continue growing over the coming decade, because steel is essential for the global transition to clean energy; to make solar power panels, electric cars and wind turbines.

“As a government, we will always support projects that stack up environmentally, socially and financially and Olive Downs ticks all those boxes.

“Mines like Olive Downs help generate royalties for all Queenslanders which allow us to invest in projects like the new Moranbah Hospital and Copperstring.”

Pembroke Resources’s Chairman and CEO, Barry Tudor, said, “We’re thrilled to have achieved this significant milestone at the world’s newest steelmaking coal mine.

“Our strategy remains centred on collaborating with stakeholders to establish sustainable and lasting economic prospects by generating jobs, economic diversification, and providing direct support to the community, all while showcasing a fresh approach to environmental standards.”

Image credit: Parilov/Shutterstock.com.

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