The Northern Energy Corporation is still trying to make the Colton Mine a reality.
The Northern Energy Corporation is still trying to make the Colton Mine a reality. Kevin Forest

Colton Mine project on track: NEC

NORTHERN Energy Corporation hasn't abandoned its Colton Mine proposal and continues to work "diligently" towards making the Maryborough project a reality, a spokesman said.

The NEC spokesman said the company had been working closely with the relevant government departments as part of developing its environmental management plan.

It was now in discussions with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

The spokeman said the change in government and associated restructuring of departments had affected the project's timeline.

"During this time we have been undertaking further exploration work at the proposed site and have been conducting studies into mining feasibility, infrastructure development, coal preparation and rail access," the spokesman said.

"We are endeavouring to proceed as closely as possible with the original timeline, however, factors outside our control have been impacting on the progression of this project.

"This is also a tricky time for local coal industry projects as we are subject to international economic factors including reduced coal prices and a high exchange rate.

"However, NEC and its parent company, the New Hope Group, both have the experience and capacity to bring coal projects to fruition, creating employment for local people and generating a return on investment for shareholders."

If approved, the project would employ between 100 to 120 full-time workers and would produce 500,000 tonnes per year of coking coal over eight to 10 years.