Mining company moves in

NORTHERN Energy Corporation will soon have a permanent presence in Maryborough with the opening of an office on Adelaide Street.

The company behind the proposed Colton coal mine is working on a Supplementary Environmental Management Plan after the Department of Environment and Resource Management asked for more detail on several issues.

“We are conducting further field work, desk top studies, analysis, modelling and reporting to provide that information,” NEC managing director Keith Barker said.

“We anticipate submission of the Supplementary EMP early in 2011.”

Details of the issues to be addressed in the Supplementary EMP have not been released, however those opposed to the mine believe they include dust pollution levels, groundwater, noise levels and discharge of waste water.

The proposed open cut coal mine would be a few kilometres north of Aldershot and is expected to produce 500,000 tonnes of hard coking coal every year.

Protest group Aldershot and District Against the Mine continues to meet monthly to discuss the proposed mine and has more than 100 members on its Facebook page.

Spokesman Brian Linforth said DERM had been diligent in the way it had looked at the EMP, which he described as “a 1000-page document which was basically flawed”.

“We have been refused details of the specific points of rejection by DERM and have applied for this information under the Right to Information Act – we expect an answer by early December,” he said.

The group also plans to make its presence known at the opening of NEC's Maryborough office.

The office at 255 Adelaide Street officially opens on December 2 and will be manned one or two days a week by office manager Ricki Dumbleton.

“The office is designed to act as a place for people to stop in and talk about the project,” Mr Barker said.

“There will be posters, information sheets, community newsletters and other information for interested members of the public.

“Our office manager will also be available to answer any questions that people may have.

“This is the first step in fulfilling our stated commitment to providing employment in the local region.

“Ricki is a local resident and a number of the people working on our current drilling program are also from the local community.

“It is our intention to recruit the Colton workforce from the Wide Bay community.”

More information on the Colton proposal can be found at or by telephoning 1800 266 296 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1800 266 296      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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