Anti-coal lobbyists in Western Australia are warning that Esperance may be threatened by a coal rush.
Currently, Blackham Resources has announced a 20% increase in its potential resource at its Scaddan coal to liquids project, according to the ABC.
The miner believes it will now have the potential to produce more than 860 million barrels of oil equivalent and is planning to carry out a feasibility study for the project.
However, the NO COALalition convener Brent Watson believes the Esperance community should begin a campaign similar to that which his group carried out in the Margaret River region.
“Don’t forget we are talking about the first part of the first mine, for the first coal miner, we are talking about the precedent, you are talking about the beginning of the coal rush,” he said.
Esperance Shire president Ian Mickel said that while the resource increase will have an impact on the area, there were not a lot of downsides to the coal-to-liquids process.
“There are limited concerns as the mine does not have sensitive properties and jobs will be created in the process,” he told the Esperance Express.
The Margaret River region has been a battle ground over the last few months as coal miner LD Operations, which has put applications forward to explore and mine in the region, has seen protests against the proposal.