Queensland enviro body takes New Acland to court

13th November 2023 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Queensland enviro body takes New Acland to court

Coal miner New Hope on Monday disclosed that its subsidiary, New Acland Coal (NAC), is at the centre of legal proceedings initiated by the Queensland Conservation Council.

The complaint, served on Friday afternoon, alleges unlawful conduct related to historical mining of the ‘West Pit’, the company said.

The Queensland Conservation Council is seeking penalty orders and other pecuniary payment orders against NAC in the Magistrates Court of Queensland.

In a statement, New Hope said that it would “vigorously” defend the proceedings.

The court action comes on the heels of the recent establishment of the Queensland Conservation Council’s enforcement arm, designed to function as a nongovernmental environmental protection agency. The enforcement arm operates independently of the Queensland Conservation Council.

The New Acland expansion project has faced more than a decade of scrutiny in the approval process, weathering a series of court cases initiated by environmental groups.

NAC operates the existing New Acland coal mine as a 4.8-million-tonne-a-year opencut coal mine on mining lease (ML) 50170 and ML 50216. The mine has reserves that will allow for current operations to continue until about 2017.

The project will expand the mine’s yearly output from 4.8-million tonnes to 7.5-million tonnes and will extend the operation’s life beyond the current end-date of 2017/18.

The revised coal project proposes to develop Stage 3 of the New Acland mine, which involves the extension of the mine’s operating life to about 2029, including the progressive development of two new resource areas within the area covered by Mining Development Licence 244, also covered by ML application 50232.

The two resource areas will be developed sequentially and, combined with the current operations, will supply up to 7.5-million tonnes a year of saleable product coal for the export and domestic markets until about 2029.