Gordon and Meredith Staal with their three children Georgia (15), Rohen (13) and Eliza (10) on Emembie Downs. On Monday they found out their Golden Triangle property is under exploration by a company with links to Bandanna.
Gordon and Meredith Staal with their three children Georgia (15), Rohen (13) and Eliza (10) on Emembie Downs. On Monday they found out their Golden Triangle property is under exploration by a company with links to Bandanna. James Laws

More projects move in to cropping land

ON Monday the Staal family came home to discover the message every landholder dreads on their answering machine.

A representative from Resolve Energy informed the family their property, Emembie Downs, just minutes south of Emerald, was under exploration and the company wanted to meet.

They said they would send a geologist, who would arrive with an information pack today or tomorrow, just five days since the fourth-generation farmers received the news.

Rohen Staal, Gordon’s 13-year-old son, overheard the message.

The teenager, passionate about his future as a farmer, didn’t sleep too well that night.

“It just breaks your heart. You try and do the right thing for the land and then it can be taken away just like that,” Gordon said.

“This has tested the resolve of the whole family, it’s just devastating.

“Apparently they have had this exploration permit since February, this is the first we have heard of it.”

In fact, Resolve has plans for two new mines along the Emerald Springsure Rd.

They include Jefferies Creek, an open-cut and underground project which covers the Staal’s property and two of their neighbours, and Gindie, an underground plan at the tiny farming community 15 minutes south of Emerald.

Both are within the government’s Strategic Cropping Land protected zone.

Jefferies Creek is in the Fairbairn Dam catchment area within 5km of its boundary.

“You would hope that all this Strategic Cropping Land business would put an end to them exploring in this area, but it looks as though they are still going gangbusters,” Gordon said.

“I have been farming on Emembie Downs for 25 years now, my grandad first arrived here in the 1940s.

“I have a 13-year-old son who is passionate about farming.

“All the legislation is against us, it favours the mining companies in every way.”

The Staals and their two neighbours, the Buffington’s and the Daniels, will meet with a representative from Resolve today or on the weekend.

The representative will attempt to negotiate a land access agreement with the farmers, but the reality is, under legislation, if no agreement is reached within six weeks, the company will gain access to the land and is only required to re-enter negotiations at a later date.

Comments were not provided from a Resolve Energy spokesman at the time of print.

The two new Golden Triangle projects:

 Jeffries Creek (OC & UG) - Exploration budget: $6,115,000

 Gindie (UG) - Exploration budget: $1,227,000


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