Proposed Saraji East Mining Lease Project
The proponents, BHP Coal Pty Ltd, QCT Mining Pty Ltd, Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd, QCT Investment Pty Ltd, BHP Queensland Coal Investments Pty Ltd, QCT Resources Pty Ltd and Umal Consolidated Pty Ltd, also known as the BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd (BMA), on behalf of the Central Queensland Coal Associates (CQCA) Joint Venture, propose to develop a greenfield single-seam underground coal mine development and associated project infrastructure which would involve the extraction of up to seven million tonnes per year (Mt/yr) of metallurgical product coal for the export market over a life of 25 to 30 years. The relevant mining tenures are exploration permit for coal (EPC) 837 and EPC 2103, mining lease applications (MLAs) 70459, 70383 for Saraji East and granted mining leases (MLs) 1775, 1782, 1784 and 70142 for existing Saraji Mine. The proposed project would be located approximately 30 kilometres north of Dysart in Central Queensland within the Isaac Regional Council area.
The proposed project would consist of:
- a greenfield underground coal mine to be developed on MLA 70383 commencing from within the Saraji Mine ML 1775
- production of up to seven Mt/yr of product coal for the export market over the 25 to 30 year life of the project
- a new accommodation facility, if required, to support the construction and operational stages located on MLA 70383. The accommodation facility may consist of a temporary construction village and a separate permanent operation village
- dewatered tailings and reject disposal within spoil on the Saraji Mine
- a new mining infrastructure area located on ML 1775
- a new coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) located on ML 70142
- a conveyor system to deliver coal from the underground portals to the CHPP and product coal to the rail loading facilities located over both ML 1775 and ML 70142
- run-of-mine (ROM) stockpile and product stockpile pads located on ML 70142
- a new rail spur and balloon loop and signalling system located on ML 70142
- a network of gas drainage bores and associated surface infrastructure consisting of gas and water collection networks and access tracks across the underground mine footprint across ML 1775 and MLA 70383
- relocation of the existing Vermont water pipeline and existing 132 kilovolt (kV) powerline into a new infrastructure and transport corridor to the eastern boundary of MLA 70383 and northern boundary of MLA 70459.
The proposed project would employ up to 1000 construction employees and approximately 500 operational employees. The EIS would be used to scope the accommodation requirements.
Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Queensland)
On 24 May 2013, BMA applied for a new site-specific environmental authority (EA) for coal mining with the department. On 25 June 2013, the department issued a Notice of Information Request for the EA application, requiring an assessment by environmental impact statement (EIS) under Environmental Protection Act 1994.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth)
On 5 October 2016, the proposed project was referred to the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy (EPBC 2016/7791). On 18 November 2016, the Department of the Environment and Energy determined the proposed project to be a controlled action under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The controlling provisions are sections 18 and 18A (listed threatened species and communities) and 24D and 24E (a water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development).
The proposed project will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the State of Queensland (section 45 of the EPBC Act) using the EIS prepared under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act).
Public notification of final terms of reference (TOR)
The process for the assessment of this project is as follows:
- Submission of draft TOR
- Public notification of draft TOR
- Final TOR issued—EIS in preparation
- Public notification of EIS
- Proponent responds to submissions
- EIS assessment report
The final TOR for the EIS was issued to the proponent on 2 June 2017 and the chief executive of the department agreed on 17 April 2019 to an extension of the EIS submission period until 2 June 2020.
On 8 October 2019, the proponent submitted the EIS under section 49 of the EP Act. On 4 November 2019, the proponent requested the department extend the period under section 49(1) of the EP Act to decide whether to allow the submitted EIS to proceed to the notification stage to 31 March 2020. On 4 November 2019, the department agreed to the proponent’s request to allow the proponent to submit a revised EIS that addresses the final terms of reference.
Publicly available documents can be obtained by accessing the links below or by contacting the proponent on 1800 078 797, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web page http://www.bhpbilliton.com/environment/regulatory-information.
When the EIS is released, public submissions will be invited. For further information about the EIS process for this proposal, contact the EIS Coordinator on 13QGOV (13 74 68) or email email@example.com.
The department is collecting the information provided in comments for consideration in the EIS process. All comments (including names and addresses) will be provided to the proponent as required under section 44 of the EP Act, so that they may consider them and provide a response to the department. This consultation is a public process, and any comments you provide may be published (including online) and may be transmitted outside of Australia. You may wish to bear this in mind when providing your comments. Your information will not be disclosed by the department to any other parties unless authorised or required by law.