Today, anti-mining protest groups are again taking the Alpha Coal Project through another court process, delaying thousands of jobs for Queensland.
What we are witnessing is court decisions being taken to court for additional court decisions.
This challenge does not involve any landholders and our projects will not impact the Great Artesian Basin.
It involves anti-mining protestors who are seeking to delay thousands of jobs for Queensland because of ideological objections to our country’s second largest export industry.
Our Galilee Basin projects will create around 7,000 jobs during construction and around 4,000 direct operational jobs for the 30+ years of operations.
Through flow-on economic benefits these projects represent the creation of over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and over $44 billion in taxes and royalties to State and Federal governments.
Delaying or seeking to stop the development of the Galilee Basin will not change global demand for thermal coal, it will only push developments and benefits offshore to other countries.
To date, we have invested tens of millions of dollars on a comprehensive suite of environmental assessments, which guided approvals from State and Federal governments.
Our assessments included a comprehensive hydrogeological assessment, which involved detailed modelling of the underlying geology, an evaluation of groundwater and aquifer occurrences and an assessment of local and regional groundwater resources.
Works undertaken at our onsite test pit in 2011 allowed us to validate the groundwater models and assessments, providing us with a clear understanding of how our proposed mining operations relate to the surrounding groundwater aquifers.
We will also have in place a comprehensive groundwater monitoring and management plans in accordance with strict environmental conditions set by the State and Federal Governments.
We have successfully negotiated Make Good Agreements with the properties surrounding our proposed mines, which are legally binding agreements that hold us liable in the unlikely event of unduly impacting groundwater resources on their given property.
We pay for all legal costs incurred by landowners in the preparation and review of any Make Good Agreement, including for any required hydrological assessments.
We are prepared and willing to enter into Make Good Agreements with properties outside of the area of compensation.
The Land Court challenge of our proposed Alpha mine in 2013 found that GVK Hancock’s comprehensive environmental assessments addressed all the objections in relation to climate change, economics, surface water, land use, public interest and greenhouse gas emissions.
The only recommendations from the Land Court case, pertaining to groundwater, were that GVK Hancock:
- obtains water licences - which was already a regulatory precursor to mining;
- undertakes water monitoring in the properties that objected – which was already proposed; and
- enters into Make Good Agreements with landholders within 12 months of the grant of the mining lease.
- After extensive negotiations and substantial fees paid by the company, two of the three landholders in this case have been presented with more than reasonable Make Good Agreements, which address all of their concerns and hold us legally liable in the unlikely event of unduly impacting their groundwater resources. The third landholder has indicated on a number of occasions that they do not wish to meet.