Coal producer Whitehaven Coal has officially opened its $767m open cut coal project at Maules Creek in the New South Wales’ Gunnedah Basin, Australia.
Australia Federal Minister for Industry and Science Federal Minister Hon Ian Macfarlane has opened the project, situated near Boggabri.
Whitehaven Coal CEO Paul Flynn said: "Today marks an important milestone in Whitehaven Coal’s growth and transition as a company and is a testament to the performance of our people who have worked tirelessly to deliver this project ahead of time, and under budget."
The Maules Creek coal mine, which is the fifth mine in the firm’s portfolio, is said to double the production of the company.
The mine is expected to create around 500 new local jobs, providing an additional $68m wages to the local economy each year.
The project includes around 10km of construction access roads, 12km of sealed mine access roads, as well as 4km of upgraded local roads that are developed under voluntary planning agreements with Council.
It also comprises 18km long water distribution network, including an intake pump station, two booster pump stations and five distribution and truck fill pumping stations.
The firm had worked with around 105 Registered Aboriginal Parties to survey 38 registered sites within the application area and recovered over 7,000 aboriginal artefacts for safe-keeping.
Image: Whitehaven has officially opened its open cut coal project at Maules Creek in Gunnedah Basin. Photo: courtesy of Whitehaven Coal Limited.