December 18, 2020
Landholders in the Coolabunia and Goodger areas opposed to Moreton Resources’ proposed open cut coal mine have received an early Christmas present.
The status of the resources licence over the area changed on Friday to “non-current”, meaning the likelihood of the mine ever going ahead has all but evaporated.
Mineral Development Licence 385 (MDL 385), held by Moreton Resources’ wholly owned subsidiary MRV Tarong Basin Coal Pty Ltd, has been shifted into the “historical” section of the State Government’s GeoResGlobe mining data website.
MDL 385, which covers an area of 899ha and includes the site of Cougar Energy’s former underground coal gasification project, was not due to expire until February 28, 2022.
A larger coal exploration permit (EPC 882), acquired by Moreton Resources from Cockatoo Coal in 2015, expired on September 26 and is now also listed as “non-current”.
Moreton Resources withdrew its Mining Lease Application (MLA 700015) for its proposed Kingaroy coal mine in February and then went into voluntary liquidation in June.
At the time, opponents of the mine feared that Moreton’s financial troubles might not be the end of the saga.
Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) spokesperson John Dalton said he was concerned because there was nothing stopping another company taking up MDL 385.
Mr Dalton was much happier on Friday.
He told southburnett.com.au that when Moreton Resources went into liquidation it had boosted the KCCG’s hopes but he had always thought that as long as the EPC and MDL existed there was the potential for a new owner to come in “and try to do what Moreton did, make something out of nothing”.
“We always thought the logic was on our side. Everyone who ever looked at the proposal – from a commercial aspect, environmental, social or community development aspect – always came up with it being short of logic or credibility,” Mr Dalton said.
“I really have to thank the local community. The vast majority of the local community saw through it.
“It’s a great Christmas present for us. We have been battling this now for 11 years. Everyone has dead set had enough of it.
“It was never on the cards, and even the prospect of it would hamstring and stymie any genuine effort to make the South Burnett a really brilliant, liveable, food-producing place.
“It was always a great handicap.”
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