Bandanna Energy has received the environmental impact statement (EIS) approval from the Queensland Government in Australia for its Spingsure Creek underground thermal coal project.
The project is located around 40km south of Emerald and 60km south-west of Blackwater.
Reacting to the approval, Bandanna Energy managing director Michael Gray said the decision takes the company another step closer to final approval of the project.
"The project is one of the few current mining projects in Queensland that is ready to proceed in the immediate future given it has access to existing rail and port capacity," Gray added.
The company, which can now move into the final regulatory approval stages for the grant of the mining lease, is planning to submit an environmental management plan to DEHP, to assist in the development of conditions for the draft environmental authority.
Production and exports from the Springsure Creek project is scheduled for mid-2015, following completion of EIS and Commonwealth environmental approvals.
Gray noted that throughout the EIS process Bandanna Energy has offered substantial commitments to the Queensland Government in relation to the productivity of prime agricultural lands.
"The EIS approval had satisfied a key investment criteria for many of the potential customers and joint venture partners that the company was speaking to in relation to Springsure Creek," Gray concluded.
Bandanna is a 14% shareholder in Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) stage 1 at Gladstone, with port allocation of 4Mtpa for the Springsure Creek project.
The company has also secured the required infrastructure capacity for the rail haulage of coal from the project to port.