Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) has notified Bowen Coking Coal regarding its intention to approve the firm’s Isaac River coal mine project in Queensland.

The clearance will secure a mining lease once land access agreements for the project are finalised.

Bowen Coking Coal executive chairman Nick Jorss said: “As the Bowen Basin’s newest independent coal producer, we’re here to meet the growing demand for energy and steelmaking coal.

“We are confident that world steel and energy demand will continue its rapid growth, driven by ongoing industrialisation in the developing world, and the drive for decarbonisation in the developed world.”

Located 28km east of Moranbah in the Bowen Basin and 130km south-west of Mackay in Central Queensland, the Isaac River coal mine project covers 14km².

The project is located adjacent to two existing mines, including BMA’s Daunia, and Peabody Energy’s Moorvale South mines.

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Bowen Coking Coal has secured Mineral Development Licence 444 (MDL 444) and Exploration Permit for Coal 830 (EPC 830).  

Studies conducted by Bowen at the project claim a production target between 0.4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 0.6mtpa of high-quality, high-yielding metallurgical coal, over a four-to-five-year period.

An agreement with Fitzroy to provide access to its Carborough Downs coal processing facilities is expected to fast-track the development of the project.

In March 2022, the company was granted site-specific environmental authority from the Queensland government.

The progressive rehabilitation and closure plan (PRCP) for the project was also approved.

Bowen Coking Coal’s operations in Queensland employ more than 700 people.

Since June 2022, the company has mined more than 1.3mt of run-of-mine (ROM) coal from two new mines with a third pit underway.

The company says that with approval now imminent for Isaac River mine, it is in a position to meet its vision to annualise ROM production target of 5mt of ROM coal by 2024.