New Hope rail facility upgrade ditched for economic reasons

UPDATE: NEW Hope Group says "economic circumstances" are behind the company's decision to abandon expansion plans at its Jondaryan rail loading facility.

A spokesman for the company, which operates the New Acland coal mine, said plans to relocate the facility 8km from the town were still a part of the revised New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project.

"Separately, the company was also looking at some modifications to railing arrangements at the Jondaryan facility, but this is no longer appropriate due to the current economic circumstances," the spokesman said.

A development application for the works at the Jondaryan facility was submitted to Toowoomba Regional Council at the beginning of the year.

The expansion would have eliminated the need for trains to travel west of the facility and therefore close to Jondaryan.

The application was withdrawn late last week.

In March this year, it emerged the company's profits had fallen by more than 30 per cent in the preceding six months.

The spokesman said the Environmental Impact Statement for the revised New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 project was submitted to the Queensland Coordinator General last month.

"Following the completion of the EIS and all supporting studies, the EIS is expected to be released later this year for public comment."

EARLIER: New Hope Coal has withdrawn an application to expand rail infrastructure associated with the New Acland mine coal handling facility at Jondaryan.

The company was planning to move the facility a kilometre from Jondaryan.

The expansion would have eliminated the need for trains to travel west of the facility and therefore close to Jondaryan.

It would have alsoallowed New Hope Coal to transport almost all of the coal from New Acland via rail.

At the moment, 11 per cent of the 4.8 million tonnes of coal processed at the site is transported using trucks.

New Hope has promised to relocate the coal handling facility 8km from Jondaryan if the State Government approved stage three of the New Acland coal mine.

Detailed work on the revised Environmental Impact Statement for the New Acland Stage 3 Project plan is continuing.

The development application for the rail infrastructure expansion was withdrawn late last week.



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