QMEB ยป New $200M Qld coal mine will be underground
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New $200M Qld coal mine will be underground

Fox Resources
Fox Resources

A mineral producer confirmed its next fossil fuel development would not be a surface operation.

Fox Resources recently revealed its $200 million Bundaberg Coal Project would be an underground mine. The proponent dismissed anti-mining activist claims that it will include an open pit.

“This group stated that the project was going to be an open pit mine even though the Department of Resources made it clear that the mine had to be an underground mine, using the bord and pillar mining method,” executive director Bruce Garlick said in a public statement.

“Then they raised the misinformation that coking coal dust was going to be a problem at Moore Park. Firstly, Moore Park is approximately 10km from the tenement [and] the wind blows easterly/southeasterly so it is impossible for any coking coal dust if there was any to reach Moore Park.”

Fox proposes extracting up to 286M tonnes of hard coking coal. The site was previously speculated to be near the existing East Coast railway line, allowing “easy” access to the Port of Gladstone. A new power generation facility will also be required.

The 120 hectare site still had not been chosen at the time of publication. However, the location was widely reported to be about 8km northwest of the Rum City.

“Fox Resources completely rejects uninformed speculation regarding the potential location of a new mine near Bundaberg. The company is at the mineral development licence (MDL) stage of resource appraisal, which is not a mining lease. The process for project assessment has not even started and it could take up to a decade before any decision to go ahead,” Garlick said.

About 200 jobs are expected to be created with local suppliers promised to share in a combined $45M of capital expenditure. The mine is touted to operate for 20 years.

Brisbane’s Supreme Court previously approved the proponent’s application to overturn State Resources Minister Scott Stewart’s refusal to grant an MDL to Fox. The stay order brings the proponent one step closer to final approval.

Lock the Gate Alliance earlier expressed concern that holes drilled through several aquifers could risk “precious groundwater” used by farmers.

“This coal mine threatens the lifeblood of Bundaberg farmers and local communities,” the group said on its website.

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