Whitehaven Coal advances $1bn Winchester South expansion

Image: Whitehaven Coal

Whitehaven Coal has found favour with the Queensland Government and hit a milestone at the proposed $1 billion Winchester South coal mine in the Bowen Basin.

Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General has released the draft terms of reference for Winchester’s environmental impact statement (EIS), which is now open for public comment.

This project milestone follows the Queensland Government’s declaration of Winchester South as a coordinated project in April.

Winchester South will be developed to produce up to eight million tonnes of coal each year for around 30 years, according to Assistant State Development Minister and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert.

“This project has the potential to make a significant contribution to our region and state,” Gilbert added.

“It would require a workforce of up to 500 jobs during the two-year construction period, and support 450 full-time jobs once operational.”

The scope of Winchester’s expansion includes a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP), rail loop and train load out facility and accommodation camp.

Whitehaven has also scheduled first coal to be extracted from the expanded mine in 2023.

The company acquired Winchester through the purchase of Rio Tinto’s 75 per cent controlling interest in it for $US200 million (around $260 million at the time) last year.

Queenslanders are invited to have their say on whether the draft terms of reference adequately cover all matters relating to the project’s EIS.