Glencore secures leases for $7 billion Wandoan coal project

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 10, 2017

Queensland natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham approved the grant of three 27-year leases over 30,000 hectares for the project, which could produce up to 22 million tonnes of thermal coal a year once operational.

Mining giant Glencore has been granted three 27-year leases by the Queensland government for the construction of a multibillion dollar coalmine in the Surat Basin.

The project is being undertaken as a joint venture between Glencore Coal Queensland (75%), ICRA Wandoan (12.5%) and Sumisho Coal Australia (12.5%). However, the company announced in 2013 that it was no longer planning to take up the project.

Glencore noted that the decision to start operations at the project would be dependent on the global coal market and the company's overall portfolio.

"Adding significant new tonnes to the market at this time could adversely impact the profitability of existing thermal coal production, potentially putting jobs at risk as the market adjusts downwards as a result of oversupply", Glencore's press release reads. The latter published a statement on Wednesday saying that the approval of a new coal lease "shows the government is more interested in propping up the fossil fuel industry than protecting communities and the environment".

"This announcement by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham is a shocker", ACF Climate and Clean Energy Campaigner Jason Lyddieth said. A spokeswoman, Carmel Flint, said: "A large number of farmers have already been displaced by Glencore over this vast area, and now we fear that remaining farmers on and near the lease will be forced out".

The open-cut mine is proposed to operate for 35 years in the Surat basin, and will require a railway to the Gladstone port.

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