Moreton Resources CEO Jason Elks explaining the progression of the MRV Tarong Basin Coal project

April 18, 2016

by Anne Miller

Moreton Resources’ CEO Jason Elks has been holding small meetings across the South Burnett over the past six weeks in a bid to win over South Burnett residents towards his company’s coal mine proposal.

News of the meetings has been spreading mainly by word of mouth, but that hasn’t stopped people from turning up to listen and ask questions – and, occasionally, the Knitting Nannas to turn up in (almost) silent protest.

Meetings have been held from Murgon to Blackbutt. dropped into a recent meeting which attracted about a dozen people in Kingaroy.

Mr Elks updated the audience on how far the project had progressed.

He said Moreton Resources’ subsidiary, MRV Tarong Basin Coal, had brought on board partners for the project, including

  • MacMahon to provide mining services;
  • Wave International, as a construction, engineering and project management partner;
  • Initiative Capital, an Australian venture capital company based in Brisbane; and
  • Beyond Billabong, a company that assists organisations to attract, recruit and retain Indigenous trainees and employees.

Quizzed about where Moreton planned to sell its coal – as Stanwell has repeatedly said it is not interested – Mr Elks did not rule out export opportunities.

Potential markets for thermal coal from the mine included Japan, China, Korea and India.

He stressed there were several ways that coal could be transported to port for export, including rail – and the South Burnett was ideally placed to link up to several existing rail lines – but he said his preferred option was a slurry pipeline.

Pulverized coal could be piped to port in a closed loop system, with the water recycled, returning via a smaller pipe.

Slurry pipelines have been used elsewhere in Australia to move ore efficiently over long distances.

Moreton Resources CEO Jason Elks provided this sketch of the approximate footprint size of the mine, compared with the proposals in the past for Kunioon mine; he told that the location could be shifted across the deposit to avoid issues with landholders

Mr Elks also answered questions about:

  • What would the mine look like from the houses on Hospital Hill in Kingaroy (from the top of the peanut silos, it should appear as a black line on the horizon; beside the mine, it would look like a coal mine)
  • Damage from blasting (the force of the explosion is directed into the mine wall; he urged people to watch a video of a record blast at Meandu Mine shot by Orica)
  • Dust from the mine (he said base data would be collected; this base data would include all the dust that is currently present from activities such as cropping; wind flow data from the airport suggested a speed and direction away from Taabinga Village and Kingaroy)
  • Interference with the airport (yes, there would be a need for airport users, such as the gliding club, and the coal mine to co-ordinate activities; and there would be a mountain of regulations for Moreton to adhere to; use of the airport by the Royal Flying Doctor etc would not be affected)
  • Would the houses in Taabinga Village be purchased (there was no plan to buy homes in Taabinga Village)

Mr Elks said Moreton was keen to explore traineeships in conjunction with local businesses in the South Burnett.

Under this scheme, trainees or apprentices would be paid by Moreton but placed at external businesses; when skilled they would transferred to the mine project.

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