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First Surat coal gets the nod

Miner Glencore has reactivated plans for the A$7B Wandoan coal project near Roma in the Surat Basin in Southwest Queensland.

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The commodity giant first applied for the mining leases in 2007, but put plans on hold in 2013. While development is still some way from proceeding – and Glencore said this will only occur when market conditions allow – in early August, the Queensland Government approved the grant of three 27-year leases over the 30,000-ha Stage 1.

When operations begin, the mine could produce up to 22 Mtpa of high-quality thermal coal. It will be the first major coal project of this scale in the Surat Basin.

A major impediment to the development is the current lack of a rail link from the basin to the port of Gladstone.

Glencore is to acquire a 49% interest in the Hunter Valley Operations coal mine in New South Wales, from Yancoal Australia. This follows Yancoal’s acquisition of Coal & Allied from Rio Tinto. Glencore will acquire a 16.6% interest in HVO directly from Yancoal, and the companies will work together to acquire Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd’s 32.4% interest in HVO to achieve Glencore’s 49% stake.

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