Ex Howard minister planning new coal project west of Ayr
A JUNIOR mining firm headed by the Howard Government's former defence minister Peter Lindsay is planning to build a new coal project west of Ayr in Central Queensland.
Guildford Coal's Clyde Park Coal Project is to be built in the North Galilee Basin near Hughenden, about 650km north-west of Mackay.
Guildford announced it had delivered its mining lease application to the Queensland Government on Friday.
It hopes to develop a project capable of exporting up to 10 million tonnes of coal per year.
That would put it on par with some of the larger mines already established near Moranbah but would be a small fry compared to its Galilee counterparts.
Plans from Indian powerhouses GVK and Adani, the American AMCI and Chinese-backed MacMines include developments able to export four-times the coal of Guildford.
The Newcastle-based miner, with joint venture partner Tiaro Coal, expect the State to release the scope of its environmental impact plan by mid-2013.
Mr Lindsay, who is Guildford's chairman, said there would be significant benefits for the regional economies.
"Today is an important milestone for Guildford because it demonstrates that we are very serious about taking advantage of opportunities in the North Galilee Basin," he said.
In a second statement on Friday, the firm revealed it had a memorandum of understanding with freight firm Asciano to help Guildford send its coal to a port.
Mr Lindsay left Parliament prior to the 2010 election after serving in the Howard Government for 11 years followed by three in Opposition.