Increase in Tiaro Coal's resource bad news for Greens
GOOD news for coal investors and mine workers could be bad news for Mary River farmers and residents, say the Queensland Greens.
But Tiaro Coal chief executive officer Dan Buckley said the newly increased coal estimates from the firm's near-Tiaro leases were still subject to environmental and other assessments.
"It doesn't mean we're starting a mine tomorrow," he said.
Tiaro Coal this month announced a further extension of its estimated resource, including a stock market-approved estimate which more than doubled to millions of tonnes of coal.
That news was accompanied by less formal estimates of another 200 to 300 million tonnes in nearby deposits, also under Tiaro control.
He said the company was interested in developing the resource near Tiaro and Gunalda, but a decision would have to be made on whether it had the necessary capital-raising ability to develop a mine.
And that would only be after a long and expensive process of further investigation.
Further mining assessments, development cost estimates and environmental approvals were still to be carried out.
"There's quite a deal of work to do," he said.
The Greens responded to the news with a call to protect the region's "unique environment and prime farmland".
The party's lead Senate candidate Adam Stone and Wide Bay Lower House candidate Joy Ringrose say they have grave concerns about the proposed Colton and Tiaro mines.
"And huge parts of this area are marked for shale gas exploration," Ms Ringrose said.
"Mining companies too often use waterways as cesspits for their sludge and heavy metals, with the tacit approval of governments," she said.