Waratah Coal Pty Ltd (“Waratah Coal” or the “Company”), an exploration and coal development company, is required to provide an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the ‘Galilee Coal Project, Northern Export Facility’.

The Galilee Coal Project is located in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. The project is based on a contractual right to mine from Waratah Coal Pty Ltd. The right to mine is for up to 1.4 billion tonnes of raw coal from coal deposits in Queensland containing JORC compliant mineral resources of approximately 3.7 billion tonnes (including ore reserves of 1.1 billion tonnes of coal).

The Coordinator-General has declared the project to be a ‘significant project’ under the SDPWO Act for which an EIS is required and the Commonwealth Government has declared the project to be a controlled action requiring an EIS. The approval of the EIS for the project is required from the Coordinator-General and the Minister for the Environment.
Waratah Coal is providing an EIS for the following components of the Galilee Coal Project:

A new operational coal mine producing 56 Mtpa:
A new standard gauge heavy haul rail line linking the mine to new coal stockyards at a terminal in the Abbot Point State Development Area (APSDA);
Use of new stockyards in the APSDA; and
Use of a new overland conveyor system within the APSDA infrastructure corridor linking the stockyards in the APSDA to the proposed coal terminals at the Port of Abbot Point

The purpose of the EIS is to provide information on the nature and extent of potential direct environmental, social and economic impacts (both positive and negative) associated with the construction and operation of the project. The EIS process has involved consultation with a significant number of stakeholders including elected representatives, federal and state government agencies, local councils, Indigenous representatives, the private sector, other public and private organisations and local residents.

Approximately 240 people have attended 15 public meetings held by Waratah Coal Pty Ltd during the consultation period, while the Company has received more than 500 emails about the project and an average of 20 phone calls per day seeking information about the project, registering interest as a supplier or enquiring about employment prospects. The public consultation process has not only supported a range of technical studies included in the EIS, but has directly contributed to the development of the project.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been submitted to government and is awaiting approval for public review (expected August / September 2011). See the Queensland Government Coordinator General website for more information on the Environmental Impact Statement process for the project.