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The State Government has signed off on the final approvals needed for Pembroke Resources to start construction on its $1 billion Olive Downs coking coal project.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the granting of the mining leases for the Bowen Basin project this week.

The mine is expected to create up to 500 jobs during construction and more than 1000 new jobs when the project reaches full operation.

It is expected to contribute an estimated $8 billion to the local economy and more than $10 billion to Queensland’s economy over its 79-year lifespan.

Pembroke expects the project to produce up to 15Mtpa saleable coal, to be transported by rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal for export to key international markets like Japan, China, India and South Korea.

Pembroke has said it will provide workers with an opportunity to live in towns near the mine including Moranbah and Dysart.

The granting of the mining lease was the last bureaucratic hurdle to construction after the final environmental approvals were signed off by the Federal Government in May.

Major construction works expected in 2021

Queensland Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said preparation work for construction at Olive Downs could begin immediately.

“It’s expected core construction activities at the mine site 40km south-east of Moranbah will begin in 2021 with mining starting as soon as construction is complete,” he said.

The project is backed by Pembroke’s major shareholder, Denham Capital, a leading global energy and resources private equity firm. 

The Queensland Resources Council described the decision to grant the mining lease as a “critical jobs booster” for the State’s COVID-19 recovery.

“Olive Downs had been well advanced before COVID-19 with the Queensland Government announcing its approval in May 2019, and its progression to construction could not have come at a better time for Queensland,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said. 

“The mine is expected to provide much-needed local stimulus during COVID-19 recovery, with up to 500 jobs during construction and over 1000 new jobs when the project reaches full operation.” 

Mr Macfarlane said Olive Downs was expected to deliver more than $5 billion in royalty payments to the State Government over the life of the project.