The ruling has set a powerful precedent for future negotiations between big miners and landowners, and could see a shift in the way mine companies approach the development of projects in rural areas.
The case relates to Xstrata’s proposed Wandoan Coal Project north of Miles and north east of Roma. In September of last year the project was officially put on hold due to a slump in global coal prices and difficulties securing land for the Surat Basin rail corridor.
According to SuratBasin.com.au, “It was a big victory for Cowan and Helen Keys, Tom and Janice Edmonds and John Erbacher, whose compensation gave them the economic peace of mind they needed after seven years of uncertainty.”
“Of 44 farms affected by the proposed Wandoan Coal project, announced by Xstrata seven years ago, only those three farmers held their ground as the rest sold privately,” the newspaper said.
The land values determined by the Land Court ranged from $3100 per hectare to $3500 per hectare.
According to SuratBasin.com.au, the Keys’ family trust will receive $11.38m, John Erbacher will receive $10.77m and the Edmonds family will receive $8.31m if mining leases are granted by the State Government and the project goes ahead in the future.