New Hope gets conditional approval for $900m Acland coal mine expansion in Australia

31 August 2015 (Last Updated August 31st, 2015 18:30)

Coal mining company New Hope has secured approval from the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for its $900m Acland coal mine project expansion near Oakey on the Darling Downs in Australia.

Coal mining company New Hope has secured approval from the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for its $900m Acland coal mine project expansion near Oakey on the Darling Downs in Australia.

The department granted the draft authority with 137 conditions.

"The current mine footprint is expected to run out of coal in 2017-2018."

According to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), the release of the draft environmental authority for the New Acland stage three project will secure 435 full-time jobs for locals at the mine.

In its draft, the authority sets down 137 strict conditions with regard to various matters such as water, air quality and noise and nearly an additional 1,000 commitments to uphold.

Following the approval, the environmental authority and mining lease will now go to the Queensland land court.

The current mine footprint is expected to run out of coal in 2017-2018.

The Acland coal mine project, which is also awaiting approval under federal environment law, is estimated to contain more than 500 million tonnes of coal that will be extracted through the open cut method.

Officially opened on 13 March 2003, the mine began operations in 2002 and has earlier supplied Swanbank Power Station.

Stage two of the mine was opened on 21 March 2007 and in 2010, stage three was undergoing an environmental impact assessment.

The expansion is expected to increase the operating life of the mine until 2042.