The head of Queensland’s leading industry body says it is unlikely new coal mining will occur in Ipswich’s rural areas due to a population build up over recent years.
The Queensland Times reports rural residents have been shocked to discover their land had mineral development licences approved on them without their knowledge or consultation.
Coal exploration licences have been granted across numerous properties in south-east Queensland.
Queensland Resource Council chief executive Michael Roche told The Queensland Times exploration does not equate to mining.
“It’s become a much more populated area; we accept that,” he said.
“This didn’t happen overnight. There has been MDLs since 1994.
“Whether a mine would go ahead in this day and age is probably less likely than when the MDLs were granted.
“The odds of any exploration becoming a mine are one in 100 and even less in those more built-up areas.
“There is nothing illegitimate about what the company has done. It’s a legitimately-held and long-held tenure.
“I would hope the company would help the community by keeping them up to date with what’s going on and for the community not to jump to the conclusion that exploration today means a dirty great coal mine tomorrow.”
He said there is a demand for coal and due to the long history of mining in the Ipswich area, it “doesn’t come as a surprise that people would be investigating the viability of mining”.
Roche said the current restrictions places on coal mining operations have become far stricter.
“It would have to pass a whole range of tests in this day and age,” he said.
“The bar is being raised year by year and I suspect the bar is going to be raised further again.
“At the end of the day there are so many factors that have to be taken into account before mining can start.”
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