Glencore welcomes legislative amendments over mine dispute

Glencore has welcomed Queensland parliament’s legislative changes that have helped sort out a dispute between its Newlands coal mine and QCoal Group’s proposed Byerwen project.

Both companies had applied for a mining lease over an area of land between Glencore’s Newlands and Suttor Creek mines located near Glenden in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Glencore sought a lease allowing it to transport material between both mines, while QCoal sought rights to the minerals under the transport corridor.

QCoal also alleged Glencore had been conducting illegal mining activities on the land that it did not have rights to, according to the ABC.

Glencore, however, denied the allegations, and said in a statement that it has “been lawfully mining at Suttor Creek since 2004, using the same registered access land and haul road linking Suttor Creek to the Newlands complex”.

The Queensland Government passed a Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 on Thursday last week, allowing Glencore’s transportation mining lease until 31 December 2032 without a renewal.

Having no renewal allows QCoal to conduct mining activities in line with its mine plan, which is not due to be mined for another 25 years.

“We welcome the amendments, which provide certainty for both companies and are in the best interests for local employments and the Queensland economy,” Glencore said.

“We have always maintained that our existing Newlands operation and the proposed Byerwen Project can successfully co-exist.”

The Newlands mine currently employs 450 people and contributed $250 million to the economy and $26 million in royalties for the state government last year.

QCoal’s mine is set to bring 100 jobs during construction and around 500 ongoing jobs once it is operational.

Queensland’s natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham said the legislative changes helped support jobs in the state.

“While it would have been preferable for this commercial dispute to have been resolved directly between the two parties, action has been taken to protect Queensland jobs and Queensland families now and into the future,” he said.

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