Mining giant Glencore has the been granted the first mining leases for a major coal development in the Surat Basin in Queensland’s south-west, the Queensland Government has announced.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today approved the grant of three 27-year leases over 30,000 ha for Stage 1 of Glencore’s proposed $7 billion Wandoan coal project near Roma.
Comment from Jo-Anne Bragg, EDO Qld CEO:
The Wandoan Coal Project has been subject to legal challenges by both landholders and conservation groups in the past, including EDO Qld past client Friends of the Earth Brisbane.
In 2012 the Land Court recommended changes to the environmental licences to address concerns raised by landholders and acknowledged that climate change was clearly a matter of public interest.
The Court did not accept that emissions from the transport and use of the product coal (i.e. scope 3 emissions) were within the scope of the environmental impacts the court could consider, but that was five years ago. Since then, both the Queensland Supreme Court (Sept 2015) and Court of Appeal (Sept 2016) have confirmed in the Alpha mine cases that the impacts of scope 3 emissions from such coal mines must be considered.
The state government's decision to grant mining leases for the Wandoan coal project is potentially subject to judicial review by landholders or other persons with a sufficient interest.