THE company which recently claimed highly optimistic results from coal exploration to Gympie's north and north-west yesterday announced a widening of its exploration effort within the district.
The exploration appears able to bypass newly announced State Government protections for urban areas, with only limited residential development in its mostly small urban areas.
Gympie Regional Council's acting Planning Committee chairman, Jan Watt, said yesterday the government's policies protected all towns in the government's legally designated South East Queensland region and all towns elsewhere with more than 1000 people.
Farm lobby groups have said the rules fail to protect smaller settlements and homesteads, despite the fact that the impact on individuals in those places would be just as serious as if there were more people around.
Tiaro Coal Limited, which has exploration leases from St Mary's and Tiaro to Gunalda and Gundiah, as well as at Toolara and Wolvi, said it had recently completed a drilling program in exploration targets west of Gundiah.
Optimistic results from activities so far inferred a possible coal reserve of 20 to 30 million tonnes over 21sq km, including coking and PCI coal, in an exploration lease area known as T9.
A program to determine the extent of viable coal deposits was under way.
In an ASX announcement and presentation to investors, the company said it now had new targets of interest, including another lease to the south, T3.
Other areas attracting interest now are around Gunalda, St Mary's, Glenbar and Gundiah.
The company says the area it is looking at is "well serviced by nearby infrastructure, including manpower, mining support services and road, rail and port facilities".
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