Parliament Supports Changes to Solve Mine Dispute

Parliament yesterday supported legislative change to ensure the future of two multi-billion dollar Central Queensland coal projects.

Minister Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham told Parliament the legislation would resolve an on-going commercial dispute potentially impacting hundreds of jobs at Glencore’s existing Suttor mine and the QCoal Group’s proposed Byerwen project.

“The amendments supported today allow both projects to proceed, on the timelines that both companies have indicated in their mine plans.”

“The following amendments are the necessary and the sad result of the failure of two mining giants to be able to negotiate in good faith.”

Both QCoal and Glencore have applied for mining leases over a tract of land between Glencore’s Newlands and Suttor Creek mines, near Glenden in the Bowen Basin.

Glencore’s mine currently employs 450 people and QCoal’s project forecasts it will create up to 100 construction jobs, and up to 500 ongoing jobs once fully operational.

Glencore is seeking a mining lease for transportation to enable the transport of materials between its two existing mines, while the QCoal group is seeking the rights to the mineral resources beneath the transport corridor.

The amendments to the Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 will grant Glencore’s transportation mining lease application until 31 December 2032, with no renewal.

No renewal will allow the QCoal Group to begin mining activities as per the timeline in its mine plan.

“Both projects can coexist, I have asked my department to progress the QCoal mining lease quickly for my consideration.

“While it would have been preferable for this commercial dispute to have been resolved directly between the two parties, action has been taken to protect Queensland jobs and Queensland families now and into the future.”

The legislation also supported a national electronic conveyancing system that will make it faster and easier to buy and sell property in Queensland, by replacing Queensland’s settlement notice with a national version.

The change is part of a move by all states and territories towards a faster, efficient and more secure national electronic conveyancing system.