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Daily Mercury article on Mackay

Friday, December 28, 2012

A MULTI-NATIONAL Chinese company is planning a $5 billion coal project for Central Queensland which will dwarf some of the region's biggest mines.

The MacMines China Stone project will mine up to 60 million tonnes of coal per year, 45 million of which will be exported.

Those are figures comparable to the enormous coal mines being developed by GVK Hancock and Adani.

When China Stone hits peak production, it will export four-times more coal than Central Queensland's largest mine at the moment - Goonyella Riverside near Moranbah.

MacMines will build the sprawling project 300km west of Mackay, halfway between Charters Towers and Clermont.

It will be amongst good company, with China Stone's neighbours to include billionaire Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal and Indian giant Adani.

It is also of the same scale as GVK Hancock and Adani's multi-billion-dollar mines which will soon demand thousands of workers.

Like those two Indian energy giants, MacMines comes with a powerful pedigree.

It is entirely owned by the Chinese Meijin Group - a firm with more than 14,000 on its payroll and an annual revenue topping $1.25 billion.

Meijin has interests in coal mining, iron, steel production, energy, real estate and even ceramics.

China Stone will need to build a rail line, like its Galilee competitors, to link its mine to a coastal loading terminal, likely Abbot Point.

MacMines must now wait for the Queensland Government to finalise the terms for a future environmental impact statement before it can continue its path towards approval and construction.

This is to be completed by the end of April.

MacMines staff were unavailable to speak to APN before deadline on Wednesday.

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