The Queensland Government will not approve any more Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) projects until a study into the environmental feasibility of the industry is completed in 2012.
There are three trial UCG projects currently underway in Queensland which will inform the Government on whether further projects have long-term feasibility.
"The Government has been very clear about the fact there are only three trial UCG projects allowed," Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson said.
"Therefore, no other companies will be allowed to start another UCG technology project.
"We have been very clear that the future of UCG technology and the potential for new projects will be based on three trials pilot projects under a supervised trial due to end in 2012.
"We make no apologies for putting the safety of the community and the environment first and that is why we are taking the steps to ensure this new technology can operate with Queensland’s strict environmental guidelines before its future in our state is determined.”
The Minister said it would be “irresponsible” for a company to claim it would start a UCG project, when it had no approvals.
"An exploration permit is no guarantee to a mining permit,” he said.
“They can look for coal but they have no rights to take it out of the ground.
"Furthermore, areas such as the township of Kingaroy are considered restricted land and protected from mining and exploration by the Mineral Resources Act.”
The Government first released this policy in February 2009.