COAL GIANT: The Pembroke Resources project is expected to inject 2000 jobs into the Bowen Basin.
COAL GIANT: The Pembroke Resources project is expected to inject 2000 jobs into the Bowen Basin.

2000 jobs as mining giant buys up CQ cattle country

MINING giant Pembroke Resources has cemented its authority in the Bowen Basin with the purchase of prime cattle country nearly 1.5 times the size of Malta.

The Australia-based company will add the 41,500 hectares of land to its Olive Downs coking coal complex, a project considered one of the more significant developments in the region in recent years.

The mega metallurgical coal mine, combined with the new land acquisition, is expected to create nearly 2000 jobs during the construction and operation phase and at peak operation will have a capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum.

The deal to buy the Iffley, Deveril and Twenty Mile properties from Peabody was brokered by CBRE for an undisclosed price. The stations were previously owned by the powerful Acton family.

Pembroke Resources CEO Barry Tudor said the acquisition demonstrates the company's commitment to the Bowen Basin - Australia's largest coal reserve.

"We like to be long-term contributors to the areas in which we are operating and in this case I think there's a good rationale for being both in mining and in agribusiness and grazing," he said.

"We'll only be mining a relatively small portion of these properties, the vast majority of these properties will remain grazing land forever," he said.

Mr Tudor said the existing agistment rights expire in six years and Pembroke Resources will then "reassess" their grazing and agribusiness options.

AgForce Central Queensland president John Baker said mines and grazing could coexist to a point and it was not unusual for companies to buy land and lease it back to graziers.

"It is disappointing to see grazing land that is being destroyed for mining," he said.

Pembroke Resources bought the nearby Olive Downs South and Willunga mines from Peabody Energy and CITIC Resources for between $104 million and $120 million in April 2016.

The Olive Downs coking coal complex is expected to start extracting coal in 2020.