Fingal coal mine start of an era, says mayor


A COALMINE in the Fingal Valley will provide "immeasurable" benefits to the area, according to the region's mayor.

On Wednesday, the state government approved a $70million-plus coalmine.

First reported in late 2011, the mine will be built and managed by Victorian company HardRock Coal Mining.

Energy and Resources Minister Bryan Green said the new mine would bring almost $180 million to the state's economy.

HardRock managing director and chief executive officer Craig Astill said the company expected to begin surface construction during the first quarter of next year, with underground development work to follow soon after.

Mr Astill said the mine would employ more than 100 people once fully operational.

"The project helps develop a new export industry for Tasmania and provides a much- needed economic injection for the region," he said in a statement on the company's website.

"So far we have been delighted with the interest this project has generated and the reception we have received locally."

The Fingal area is also rejoicing, with Break O'Day Mayor Sarah Schmerl saying it was exciting news to receive.

"The spinoff for the town and the region will be fantastic," Cr Schmerl said.

"The impacts to local businesses and property values are immeasurable but certainly positive."

Cr Schmerl said she hoped the investment would signal the start of a new era for the town.

"I think there will definitely be other investors sitting back and waiting to see how this goes and then perhaps look at investing in the area," she said.

Cafe worker and resident Tina French said the town was full of positive talk about the development.

"There's been a few people from the area that have applied for work there so that will be really good," Miss French said.

"Especially for some of the young people who would otherwise have to move away.

"They'll be able to stay here with their families so that will be good for them."TasRail chief executive Damien White said the company already took about 150,00 tonnes of product out of Fingal a year, and was excited and prepared for the increase in stock that the mine would bring.


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