ICAC investigates Monaro Mining’s involvement

The Independent Commission Against Corruption yesterday was told by senior resources bureaucrat that small mining company Monaro Mining’s large offers were ‘extraordinary’.

"I thought it was quite extraordinary that they made these offers to the extent that they did." Kevin Fennell who in 2008 was a probity auditor for the Department of Primary Industries said.

AAP reported Fennell yesterday told ICAC that he found the $50 million in additional financial contributions offered by the company on its bids for mining licences in the coal-rich Bylong Valley out of the ordinary.

Of the $50 million offered, $25 million was hinged on the company being awarded the Mt Penny tenement.

Monaro Mining’s previous experience had been in uranium mining, not coal mining when they applied for nine licences in New South Wales.

There is no suggestion Monaro acted illegally the inquiry was told.

Rather, the AAP reported the inquiry was told the Obeids asked a man named Gardener Brook to find a company to partner them in the mining venture, the company suggested was Monaro Mining.

However, Monaro withdrew its bid for the Mt Penny tenement and the licence subsequently went to Cascade Coal when the tender process was reopened by Macdonald.

Australian Mining have been following the ICAC investigation which continues to look into decisions made by former mining minister Ian Macdonald about whether mining licences in New South Wales Bylong Valley area were designed to benefit colleague Eddie Obeid, who owned property in the region.

Image: BVPA

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