Wandoan Coal back on track

XSTRATA’S Wandoan Coal project is back in the black.

Yesterday, Xstrata Coal announced its planned $6 billion coal mine including exploration activities associated with the mine is back on track.

Xstrata suspended expenditure on the Wandoan Coal project back in May when the government announced its now failed Resource Super Profits Resource Tax (RSPT).

Xstrata Coal chief executive Peter Freyberg said the government’s proposed Mineral Resource Rent Tax represents significant progress towards a minerals taxation regime that will satisfy the industry.

“In recent weeks Xstrata participated in detailed and constructive discussion with the government and believe there in now an improved shared understanding as to what drives mining investment decisions and the importance of a stable long term fiscal regime,” Mr Freyberg said.

“The decision effectively lifts the suspension on expenditure announced last month and allows the next stage of planning for this internationally significant Wandoan project to proceed.”

If approved, the Wandoan Coal Project will provide more than 3000 jobs throughout construction and operation over the next five years.

Banana Shire Mayor John Hooper said it had dispelled the uncertainty surrounding the project.

“It’s great for the shire and it’s good for local employment,” Mr Hooper said.

“It is certainly is going to impact on our shire with the inland rail from Wandoan through to Banana and hopefully it will provide people employment in the Taroom area.

“The inland rail will bring money into the area and hopefully it will be another cog in the wheel towards getting the Nathan Dam justified when Xstrata begins stage two of the Wandoan project.”

A final investment decision on the mine and associated infrastructure project is expected in the second half of 2011.

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