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Author Topic: Article: Jobs hope from coal plan  (Read 2010 times)


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Article: Jobs hope from coal plan
« on: December 14, 2011, 12:42:30 PM »
Tasmania could soon have some coal trains running. That should put the system on a more stable financial footing, as well as resurrecting the fortunes of at least part of the Fingal branch.

The Mercury -> click here

A MELBOURNE company proposing a coal mining operation in the Fingal Valley has yet to apply for a mining lease, Mineral Resources Tasmania said yesterday.

An MRT spokesman said that Hardrock Coal Mining had two exploration leases near Fingal but did not yet have a mining lease.

Hardrock Coal Mining director Craig Astill has flagged plans for a $40 million coal mine and the creation of 650 jobs.

He has been reported as saying that the mine near the Cornwall coal mine would mine up to one million tonnes of coal worth about $100 million in its first year.

The production would more than double the existing Tasmanian coal industry, which produces 400,000 tonnes at the Cornwall coal mine.

Mr Astill operates several companies, including Hardrock Coal Mining, from his home in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran. The plan is to transport coal by rail to Bell Bay and export it through the port.

TasPorts said the project was in the early stages of a feasibility study.

"TasPorts is pleased to confirm that it has signed an agreement with Hardrock to assess a proposal to export up to one million tonnes of coal annually out of Bell Bay," general manager of infrastructure and maintenance Phillip Cooke said yesterday.

Tasrail was unable to be contacted yesterday about its discussions with the company.

Break O' Day council Mayor Sarah Schmerl said the council was hoping to receive a development application in the next few weeks.

"We are very excited about the employment possibilities," she said.

The council had been briefed early this year by local businessman John Dingemanse of CBM Sustainability.

Mr Astill is a director of a number of other companies and was a director for nine months of the ASX firm Marginbet Limited, which operated gaming operations through a subsidiary Portlandbet Pty Ltd.

Hardrock Coal Mining was established in May 2011.


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