Springsure mine one step closer

After multiple trips to Korea to woo power corporations to buy its Springsure Creek coal, the company last week signed a non-binding agreement with Korea’s Midland Power Company.

The next day, the Queensland government announced the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project has been allowed to proceed.

That decision means Bandanna’s response to submissions made in relation to the EIS was adequate and that all appropriate amendments have been made. The Department now has 30 business days to prepare its EIS assessment report.

Many eyes are on the Springsure project, which will be the first site in Australia to operate as an underground mine with cropping on top.

Rockhampton councillor Neil Fisher told Shift Miner he was watching this with interest, and Bandanna Energy was one of several mining companies looking outside the box and wanting to coexist with agriculture.

“Being able to do grazing or cropping while mining underground is exciting, and Bandanna are not the only ones [looking at it],” he said.

“I did some preliminary work with some of the Galilee people and they were going over the land, and using a GPS to lock out land right from the start that appeared sensitive.

“Then we have Linc Energy, which has made bluegrass preservation one of its high achievements,” Cr Fisher said.

Bandanna Energy’s managing director Michael Gray has actually pushed for higher standards to better maintain productivity of prime agricultural lands.

Mr Gray told Shift Miner recently the company was having good discussions with farmers to understand the mechanics of farming and to know the areas of concern, and it had set up an independent agricultural research committee.

“One of the real opportunities is to make sure there is a real flow of information, so we can really understand and scope the project and understand its impact.

“It’s not rocket science – it’s about making sure we have an open dialogue and that we’re transparent in our answers.”

There are five properties in the lease area of the mine; one has been purchased and the company is in discussions with the others about acquisition or compensation.

Meanwhile, Mr Gray said Bandanna Energy continued to be in discussions with other companies from Japan, Korea and China, where demand for thermal coal for power generation was predicted to more than double in the next decade.

“We’re confident of our long-term outlook and the lack of quality projects in the future puts us in a good position.”

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