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June 25, 2015

Queensland to review $896m New Acland coal mine expansion approval

The Queensland government is in the process of reassessing its approval of the proposed $896m expansion of New Hope Coal's controversial New Acland coal mine stage 3 project located north-west of Toowoomba, Australia.

The Queensland government is in the process of reassessing its approval of the proposed $896m expansion of New Hope Coal’s controversial New Acland coal mine stage 3 project located north-west of Toowoomba, Australia.

Queensland minister for natural resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham told AAP: "We have already started a process review of the approval of the proposed expansion of New Acland mine."

The environmental authority is expected to receive public submissions for the project soon.

During the January state election, the New Acland mine expansion was a major issue due to coverage by broadcaster Alan Jones and his claims.

"We have already started a process review of the approval of the proposed expansion of New Acland mine."

Jones alleged that donations were given to the Queensland party to make them revoke their opposition to the mine.

The Liberal National Party (LNP) denied the broadcaster’s claims and maintained approval was granted due to changes made to the original expansion proposal made in 2010.

In March 2012, the incoming State LNP Government did not support the proposed stage 3 project in its existing form at that time.

During this period, the company negotiated with the government about options to continue operations at the mine.

In response to the concerns raised by the government, the project was revised.

As part of the mine’s expansion plans, the company considered development of parts of the Manning Vale and Willeroo resource areas and renovating the existing coal handling and preparation plant.

The project is expected to provide 260 jobs during construction period and 435 jobs once it is operational.

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