Comment sought on coal mine

Comment sought on coal mine

PLANS for a proposed Fingal Valley coal mine expected to generate 650 jobs in the North will be advertised for public comment this weekend.

Hardrock Coal Mining company managing director Craig Astill said yesterday that the $40 million project had already been through the Environmental Protection Authority process.

``We have now lodged both a mining licence application and a planning development application with the Break O'Day Council,'' Mr Astill said.

He said that he had a number of Asian customers already interested in the black coal from the proposed new mine operation in a 10-square-kilometre area of the Duncan seam, adjacent to the Cornwall Coal Company operation on the outskirts of Fingal.

He said that they were excited by results from the company's coal seam and samples and initial drilling.

``The early indications are that the height and the quality of the coal seam and samples is better than expected,'' he said.

The privately owned, Victorian-based Hardrock company plans to transport coal by rail from Fingal to Bell Bay for shipment to Asian markets lined up for electricity generators.

Hardrock has already spent more than 12 months in talks with the council, the state government, Tasports and in community consultation.

The project is expected to generate 78 full-time equivalent jobs in the North during the construction stage and 207 jobs in its first year of operation, increasing to 650 jobs in the third year.

Mr Astill hopes to start work on the new mine in the next three months.

The public comment period to be advertised in Tasmanian papers this weekend will extend for about six weeks.