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3,000 Aussie jobs in doubt after Chinese company pulls the pin on mega-mine

Business people and workers talking in quarry. Source: Getty

Around 3,000 promised jobs are in doubt after a $6.7 billion Chinese mega-mine coal project adjacent to the Adani venture in Queensland’s Galilee Basin has been abandoned.

The company, MacMines, had proposed a China Stone open-cut, underground thermal coal mine, and it was to be built 300 kilometres west of Mackay, the ABC reported.

While MacMines failed to give an explanation as to why it abandoned the project, according to the ABC, analysts believe the project is no longer aligned with China’s interests in coal, and is financially “unviable”.

It was the closest mine to Adani’s Carmichael coal project, and was on track to gain five mining leases.

While it wasn’t as high-profile as Adani, it was still expected to produce around 38 million tonnes of coal per annum for export to China, compared to the 10 million tonnes expected from Adani.

A Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy spokesperson told the ABC that MacMines had voluntarily not progressed their mining lease applications for the China Stone project, and that office phone numbers for the company had been disconnected. Its Brisbane office had also been vacant for months.

The ABC says Adani’s decision to scale down its project and planned rail line could have been a contributing factor.

While MacMines continues to hold an Exploration Permit for Coal and a Mineral Development Licence, mining and other activities associated with mining can’t take place until a lease is granted.

No other companies are able to apply for a mining permit over that land while MacMines still holds the exploration permit.

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