A COAL exploring company has announced 49.2 million tonnes of marketable coal reserves in an underground mine at Springsure Creek, despite the land being designated a green zone within Queensland Government’s Strategic Cropping Land policy.
Bandanna Energy made the announcement on Friday, following the recent announcement of a 44.3 million tonnes reserve at its other Golden Triangle project, Arcturus.
The company also recently secured a four-million tonnes export capacity through the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal at Gladstone.
The Springsure Creek news came as a shock to landowners Kate and Eugene Sullivan, just two months after their land was identified as ‘quality agricultural land’ by the strategic cropping land policy.
“(Bandanna Energy) talks about the land as if they already own it, as if it’s a foregone conclusion, but it’s still our home,” Kate said.
“While they have drilled here and done tests on what’s underneath the ground, they haven’t completed an EIS, and there are still many more government requirements they need to meet before they get approval for the mine.”
Kate said she would be taking the announcement with a pinch of salt.
“The company is obviously trying to generate interest in their product and create a sellable item,” she said.
“But the fact that they are forging ahead, securing capacity commitments and announcing marketable coal reserves, indicates the company isn’t taking the strategic cropping land policy seriously.
“In the years of mining in Australia, there hasn’t been a lot of legislation,” added Kate.
“Even when the mine exploration companies do something wrong, they might just get reprimanded by letter or receive a small fine.
“The miners have gotten away with doing what they want to do for so long, this policy isn’t holding them back at all.
“There needs to be a change of attitude.”
Kate said she was disappointed at the lack of communication Bandanna Energy had with landowners.
“We haven’t had any contact with Bandanna in months and weren’t notified about the marketable reserves before the media release on Friday,” she said.
“Landowners here are really isolated and left out of the whole process.”