New Hope takes New Acland coal expansion to the courts

New Hope Corporation will not give up on its proposed expansion of the New Acland coal mine in Queensland.

The coal miner is pursuing a judicial review of the Queensland Land Court’s recommendation that mining leases should not be granted for the proposed expansion of the mine.

The Land Court last month recommended that the leases, as well as an Environmental Authority amendment, for the stage 3 expansion should not be provided because of the potential impacts the operation could cause to the environment.

New Hope, which has proposed an expansion of the New Acland mine for the past decade, plans to invest $900 million at the site to increase annual production to 7.5 million tonnes.

The expansion proposal was given the go-ahead by the federal government in January, but failed to impress the Land Court in its assessment, which was guided by challenges from 40 community objectors based on environmental threats water, air quality and agriculture in the area.

In response, New Hope said in an ASX announcement it had “sought judicial review of the Queensland Land Court’s recommendation in respect of the New Acland mine stage 3 mining lease applications and related environmental authority amendment.

“New Hope remains committed to progressing the approvals required to deliiver the New Acland stage 3 project.”

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said the project was vital to the Darling Downs and would create up to 260 construction jobs and ongoing direct employment of up to 435 jobs.

“Such a significant amount of job losses will have devastating flow-on effects to such a small community and the surrounding businesses that rely on the mine,” QRC stated.