Businessman Clive Palmer.
Businessman Clive Palmer.

Palmer Galilee coal mine plan headed for Land Court

TWO Central Queensland mega mines are facing setbacks as the state's economy struggles through the coronavirus crisis.

Clive Palmer-controlled company, Waratah Coal's application to build a huge coal mine in the Galilee Basin has received 62 objections after the submission deadline was delayed.

The Galilee Coal project - formerly known as China First - is understood to be four times the size of Adani's Carmichael mine.

The proposed mine would include two open-cut pits, four underground mines and a 453km railway linking the project to the Abbot Point coal terminal.

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy granted an extension until April 3 to allow the community extra time to provide submissions.

A DNRME spokeswoman said it received 35 objections to the mining lease and 27 objections to the environmental authority, with one objection withdrawn.

"As is standard process, all objections have been referred to Queensland's Land Court for hearing," the spokeswoman said.

"The Land Court must hear the matter and make a recommendation/s for the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy's consideration."

As the matter was only referred to the Land Court on Tuesday, a date for the hearing has not been set yet.

NEW MINE: Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal company is working towards building their ambitious Galilee Coal Project, west of Emerald.
NEW MINE: Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal company is working towards building their ambitious Galilee Coal Project, west of Emerald.

Meanwhile, mining giant Whitehaven Coal has told shareholders that studies were continuing for its three major developments, including the $1 billion Winchester South metallurgical coal project.

In its March quarter production report, the company indicated its concern for growth during the current economic conditions.

"While coal markets in the March quarter have demonstrated their resilience, volatile financial market conditions cause Whitehaven to continue to be cautious in allocating capital to expansion," the company stated.

"Whitehaven does not expect to consider making a final investment decision

in relation to these projects in 2020."

However, Whitehaven said Winchester South continued to move through the Queensland Government's development process and studies to support drafting of the environmental impact statement had progressed.

The project is expected to deliver 500 new construction jobs and support up to 450 full-time jobs once operational.

Last year the Daily Mercury reported if approved, construction would begin in 2021, with the first extraction of coal proposed for 2023.