7 April 2017
High Court of Australia dismisses legal challenge against the Alpha Coal Mine
The world class Alpha Coal Mine in central Queensland has cleared another legal hurdle with the highest court in Australia dismissing an appeal concerning climate change. The High Court upheld the finding that purported levels of global greenhouse gases are not directly related to the Alpha Coal Mine.
The High Court dismissed the claim that emissions from the transport and burning of coal from the Alpha Coal Mine would contribute to global warming and ordered the environmental group pay court costs.
This decision supports lower court findings that the Alpha Coal Mine would not increase the likelihood of environmental harm caused by climate change. The High Court rejected the application and said this case was not appropriate for considering if those lower courts had misunderstood their jurisdiction.
GVK Hancock welcomes the decision of the High Court which it hopes will bring an end to over four years of legal challenges from anti-mining activists. A spokesman for GVK Hancock said the decision allows the company to continue with progress towards obtaining a Mining Lease and taking this significant project closer to when construction can commence and high quality thermal coal can be provided to customers.
Alpha Coal Mine is a large-scale thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland which can produce over 30 million tonnes of high quality thermal coal each year at full production. The coal deposits are large and shallow with flat delineation and are ideal for large scale mining techniques that will deliver low cost high quality thermal coal and will ensure the mine is immune to commodity price volatility.
The Galilee Basin has significant deposits of coal with low levels of ash and Sulphur which will substantially reduce the levels of emissions when combined with the latest combustion technologies. The coal will help to improve the economic situation in many countries by providing access to low cost efficient electricity.
The projects under development by GVK Hancock will provide over 40 billion dollars in taxes and royalties to Australian governments over the life of the projects. They will generate direct and indirect employment for over 7,000 people during construction and for approximately 20,000 people when in operation.
GVK Hancock has complied with all government and environmental regulations including the international Equator Principle standards adopted by financial institutions for managing environmental and social risks.
The company has received significant global interest for its high quality low cost thermal coal. This includes top tier Asian customers, international traders, and equity investors.
A spokesman for GVK Hancock said the company continues to advance the projects so that construction can commence and at which time it can sign customer agreements and finalise finance arrangements.