Boots not on the ground
SILENCE is deafening in the Galilee despite the court victories.
Wednesday 05 October 2016
One of the landholders whose property near Alpha sits right under one of GVK Hancock’s proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin, says there has been zero mining activity in the region for more than a year.
Grazier Sean Dillon, who is also a councillor on the Barcaldine Regional Council, says last week’s court victory for GVK has not translated into any activity on the ground.
“About 17 or 18 months ago, they were doing a little bit of survey work,” he told Shift Miner.
“There was also some administrative work undertaken to tidy up some of the compensation agreements with landholders like us.
“However, since I have been on council, there has been no correspondence relating to mining of any sort across the entire region.
“But it’s a little bit difficult to see where things are going because both the proposed Galilee miners have been saying the same thing for so long it’s not funny.”
GVK is an Indian company, which has a 79 percent stake in the Alpha Coal and Alpha West projects, and a 100 percent stake in the Kevin’s Corner project in the Galilee near Alpha which it purchased from Hancock Prospecting at the height of the mining boom.
These projects have total resources of 8 billion tonnes and a theoretical peak capacity of 80 million tonnes a year, which together would make them the largest coal mining operation in the world.
GVK made headlines last week - after an extended period out of them - when it said it planned to get a mining lease for its Alpha Coal project following a significant win in the Court of Appeal.
In a landmark victory for GVK, the court dismissed an attempt by Green group Coast and Country to challenge the State Government’s environmental approval of the proposed mine and ordered them to pay all legal costs.
Coast and Country tried to argue that the State Government had failed to consider the effects on the global climate from end users burning coal sourced from the Alpha Coal project when it gave GVK Hancock environmental authority.
“To date, we have invested tens of millions of dollars on a broad range of environmental assessments that contributed to our environmental approvals, and we have complied with every environmental regulation set before us, as well as meeting the legal requirements of numerous court challenges,” Spokesperson for GVK Josh Euler said.
“The next steps for our project involve finalising remaining approvals to attain our mining lease, which will take our project another step closer to a point where construction can commence.”