The West Australian mining warden has ordered Western Coal to provide details of its impact upon aquifers for its Margaret River exploration projects.
It comes after opposition to the miner’s application for exploration licences, following Western’s failure to attend a warden’s hearing yesterday, the West Australian reports.
Hetherington Exploration, which represents Western Coal, said it was not formally advised on the hearing.
Western Coal’s application to explore in the region follows in the wake of the LD Operations saga, where the miner attempted to gain exploration licences in the wine growing region and faced extremely fierce local opposition, and eventually had its application rejected on environmental grounds.
However, LDO has appealed the decision.
Western Coal’s bid to explore on about 4,500 ha has attracted widespread community opposition. A DEC spokesperson is quoted in The West Australian as saying: "These areas have conservation values associated with vegetation and fauna, including the western ringtail possum and the southern brown bandicoot."
The DEC stated that “we consider there would be an unacceptable risk, and we flag our intention to lodge a further objection to other exploration licences”.