Australian coal producer Stanmore Resources said on Tuesday it received permits for mining leases from the Queensland state government to start work on its Isaac Downs project.
The government issued leases for the project even as Australia’s coal industry faced dwindling support and access to finance due to increasing pressure on their backers to break away from fossil fuels.
Australia, the top coal exporter in the world, remains a laggard in climate change commitments, so far refusing to commit to a target for net zero emissions by 2050, citing the risk of hurting the economy.
The Isaac Downs project will produce only coking coal, used by the steel-making industry, which has not come under as much financial pressure as thermal coal.
The project would be an extension of Isaac Plains, Stanmore said, adding that it would produce up to 2.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of saleable coking coal with a mine life of up to 10 years.
The Brisbane-based miner said it would spend A$47 million ($34.62 million) on project development, with total estimated costs of nearly A$82 million including civil construction work.
Stanmore recently increased its loan facility with Singapore’s Golden Energy and Resources to progress the Isaac Downs project.
($1 = 1.3574 Australian dollars)
(By Yamini C S; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)