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Green light for coalmine at Wandoan

Xstrata forecast up to 30 million tonnes of coal could be pulled from the Wandoan site each year.
Xstrata forecast up to 30 million tonnes of coal could be pulled from the Wandoan site each year. Contributed

THE Queensland Land Court has recommended the state approve a coalmine at Wandoan in the Surat Basin, to be developed by Swiss miner Xstrata.

Objections made about the how the mine would contribute to climate change were ruled as "irrelevant" according to the Brisbane Times this morning.

The sprawling project, was challenged by Friends of the Earth, mainly on the grounds that it would be responsible for 1.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over its life - equal to twice Australia's annual emissions - and displace agricultural land.

Yesterday Land Court president Carmel MacDonald recommended approval of the project, subject to groundwater monitoring and excision of some land from the lease, but found the state's environment protection laws were "limited to Queensland's environment".

Xstrata are expected to pull thermal coal - used to create electricity - from the mine for the next 30 years, with the company forecasting up to 30 million tonnes of coal could be pulled from the site each year.

A Friends of the Earth spokesman said the decision was a "huge disappointment" and said it would consider an appeal.

Xstrata Coal's Queensland chief operating officer, Reinhold Schmidt, said the decision recognised the company's "commitment to environmental management".

Topics:  queensland land court, surat basin, wandoan, xstrata coal


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