Resolve aims to please
THE principal geologist of an exploration company set to drill holes searching for coal in the Fairbairn Dam catchment area says the company is very aware of its requirement not to disturb above-ground water flow in the area.
Resolve Geo have already initiated discussions with landholders who will be affected by the exploration program for its Jefferies Creek project, just south of Gindie.
The company hopes to embark on phase one of its drilling program after a period of stakeholder consultation, which will see 11 holes distributed about 2km apart scattered throughout the entire lease, Resolve principal geologist Gordon Saul (pictured) said.
Mr Saul said Resolve had already identified “buffer areas” the company will stay away from, as not to disturb above-ground water.
“We won’t go within the buffer zones, we know how important the water is to the community… we are part of the community,” Mr Saul said.
“It is a requirement of our environmental authority not to have an impact on the catchment area and we can, and will, achieve that.
“Above all else we aim to say what we’re going to do, and do what we’re going to say.”
To the anger of many landholders in the Golden Triangle, Resolve will effectively be drilling within the Strategic Cropping Land protection area, identified by the State Government in its draft policy.
“Strategic Cropping Land will no doubt have an effect on how we operate in the area, and we need to make sure we comply with every stakeholder’s requirements,” Mr Saul said.
He said Resolve would likely look at an underground bord and pillar operation further exploration drilling went to plan.
“There are systems we can put in place that will mitigate any negative affects on the land,” he said.
“With underground bord and pillar you are effectively backfilling as you go, which stabilises the ground. In truth, you really have little or no affect on the land at all.”
“Open cut is not available to us under the terms of the draft strategic cropping land policy.”
He said the company’s main focus over the next month was articulating its plans to landholders clearly.
“Our approach will certainly be to minimise any potential impacts on their businesses and livelihoods,” Mr Saul said.
Resolve project geologist Mike Skinner recently met with 14 landholders in Gindie to discuss the company’s plans.
Gordon Staal, whose property Emembi Downs will be explored, described the meeting as “a tense affair”.
“There is a fair bit of unease, we’re all wondering what the truth is,” Mr Staal said.
He said he had been conducting his own research to see how cropping policy might protect his family farm, but a lack of clarity and a struggle to find answers had left him questioning its ability.