Construction began on the Bluff PCI Project coal mine in November 2018.
Construction began on the Bluff PCI Project coal mine in November 2018. Bluff PCI Management

Bluff coal mine project hits back at blind-side allegations

BLUFF PCI Project has rejected claims Blackwater residents were left in the dark about a mining partnership between the open cut mine and the Blackwater wash plant.

The company hit back in a media release yesterday, stating the company had made a "clear and continuing commitment to be open and transparent with the community”, including both Bluff and Blackwater residents.

Bluff PCI Project said it held a community meeting for Bluff and Blackwater residents on March 19, to update locals on the progress of the project.

This meeting was said to be the latest in a series of community engagement efforts, dating back to 2013 when the mine was first proposed.

Today, The Morning Bulletin printed an article on Blackwater residents' complaints about the Bluff Coal Project deal, which was alleged to result in 200 trucks hauling coal through Blackwater each day.

Read: Blackwater locals hit back after coal truck convoy blindside

"At full operation, the mine's haulage of coal will increase traffic on the Capricorn Highway by around 50-60 truck round trips per day, falling significantly short of the '200 trucks' figure previously reported” Strategic Mining Communications' Sarah-Joy Pierce said.

"According to 2017 Department of Transport and Main Roads traffic data, heavy vehicle movements constitute 20.19% of movements along the Capricorn Highway.

"Our proposed traffic impact (including transporting project personnel, materials and equipment, which may not necessarily impact Blackwater) is expected to increase existing traffic movements by less than 2% per day through Bluff, and even less through Blackwater.”

Blackwater is now a 5 star tidy town
Bluff PCI Project have hit back at claims that there will be 200 trucks hauling coal through Blackwater each day.

Claims made by James Strong in yesterday's article cited that road "wear and tear” would be an issue.

Ms Pierce said Bluff PCI Project was required to submit a Road Impact Assessment Report to the Department of Transport and Main Roads as part of the approval process.

"A Road Use Notification pursuant to Division 2 of the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 was also made,” she said.

"This application included notice that the Project intended to undertake notifiable road use on State Controlled Roads commencing from March 2019.

"Approval for haulage was received from DTMR in December 2018, and this approval also includes a contribution for increased maintenance as a result of the haulage, as would apply to any similar project in resources or otherwise.

"The arrangement between Bounty Mining and Bluff PCI Management (two separately owned and managed entities) is a temporary one, increasing cooperation between mines in the Bowen Basin.”

Ms Pierce said coal from the project will be transported to Bounty Mining's Cook Colliery for processing and then direct rail transport to Gladstone as part of a two-year contract between Bluff and Bounty.

"The Bluff PCI Project is here for the long term and are proud to be taking a locals-first approach to employment in our operations, with more than 25% of our employees living locally in Bluff or Blackwater and contributing to the local economy,” she said.

More information about the project's operations can be accessed at www.bluffpci.com.au.

The route coal trucks will be travelling each day as part of Bluff Coal Project.
BLUFF COAL: The route coal trucks will be travelling each day as part of Bluff Coal Project. Contributed

Bluff PCI Project Facts

The project is a small truck and excavator operation, with a 1.2Mt per year output of PCI coal for use in iron manufacturing.

Construction of the mine began in November 2018. The first coal is expected by mid-2019.

MACA Mining has been appointed from September 2019 to December 2028 as the Coal Mine Operator at the project. The company will be responsible for all day to day operations, from drilling and blasting thorguh to loading and hauling.

Once mined by MACA Mining, the coal will be transported to the nearby Cook Colliery at Blackwater for processing and then transported via train to the RG Tanna Coal Terminal at Gladstone for export.

Bluff PCI Management is a wholly owner subsidiary of Carabella Resources, the owner of the Bluff PCI Project.

Pulverised Coal Injection (PCI) coal is a type of metallurgical coal used for making steel.