Bandanna reviewing options
MINING exploration company Bandanna Energy is believed to be reviewing its options after Tuesday’s announcement of the State Government’s Strategic Cropping Land policy framework, which could potentially jeopardise two of its planned operations in the Central Highlands region.
Bandanna holds the largest thermal coal inventory for any exploration company in Australia and is operating with 16 coal tenements across Central Queensland’s Bowen and Galilee basins.
Tuesday’s announcement by Minister for Environment Kate Jones to protect Central Highland’s best cropping land, especially in the Golden Triangle south of Emerald, has left two of the company’s four key projects in an uncertain state.
Furthermore, Bandanna’s numerous projects are effectively all up for sale, with the company currently reviewing a shortlist of bidders.
The company holds 1.48 billion tonnes of coal resources in the two Central Queensland basins.
Despite this, it does not have the capital to fund many of the projects.
Tuesday’s SCL announcement could now effectively strain Bandanna’s in-progress sale talks.
The company has been tight-lipped since the announcement. It is believed Bandanna is reviewing the options before possibly pleading a case.
The two projects in question are the proposed Arcturus coal mine and the proposed Springsure Creek coal mine, which, due to their location within the SCL central protection area and the fact neither has finalised an Environmental Impact Statement, fall short of the government’s transitional arrangements deadlines.
The transitional arrangements are designed to recognise the investment made to date in proposed new resource development projects already under way.
The problem for Bandanna is both projects are in the public notification phase and neither has finalised the terms of references for an EIS – a stage that has to be met in order to qualify for the transitional arrangements offered by the government.