Bandanna Energy employees conduct drilling operations at Springsure Creek on what was later defined as Strategic Cropping Land in the Golden Triangle.
Bandanna Energy employees conduct drilling operations at Springsure Creek on what was later defined as Strategic Cropping Land in the Golden Triangle.

Underground project above board

QUEENSLAND Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche has backed the State Government’s controversial decision to grant Bandanna Energy transitional arrangements for its proposed Springsure Creek underground coal mine.

Mr Roche said the QRC lobbied strongly prior to the announcement of the draft Strategic Cropping Land policy for transitional arrangements to be included, recognising projects that had already invested a significant amount of money.

“Bandanna Energy’s Springsure Creek project ticked the boxes according to the State Government’s criteria,” Mr Roche said.

In contrast, Golden Triangle farmers are furious at the decision and believe Bandanna did not make the deadline set in the draft policy.

Mr Roche downplayed landholders’ concerns about post-mine land revitalisation and said a growing list of successful agricultural rehabilitation projects contradicted the notion of mine operations sterilising the land.

“It’s important to understand that Springsure Creek is an underground mine and that there are numerous examples both here and interstate of such operations working in complete harmony with rural industries,” he said.

On Tuesday, Bandanna announced it had acquired a further 6Mtpa of reserve capacity rights to underpin its Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Stage 2 allocation application.

This secured a total of 8Mtpa when added to Bandanna’s existing 2Mtpa of reserve rights, significantly improving the liklihood of the company securing port allocation as part of the WICET stage 2, a Bandanna spokesman said.

Bandanna also announced this week its management believed the Labor Government’s carbon tax would give it a competitive edge against other Australian coal producers after conducting preliminary assessments of its likely affect.

Its three proposed open-cut developments at Dingo West, South Galilee and Arcturuss were expected to have significant competitive advantages over New South Wales competitors.

Under the method Bandanna used to calculate how much tax would be owed, Queensland open-cut mines were recognised to emit significantly less CO2 than NSW mines.

A company spokesman said estimations of gas emissions from the proposed Springsure Creek mine had been conducted and were found to be “extremely low” compared to other Australian underground mines of a similar depth.


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