‘No mystery’ on drilling in Toolara Forest coal search
THERE is "no mystery" about the "mystery" drill holes in Toolara Forest, reported in Saturday's edition of The Gympie Times to be associated with possible coal exploration.
Residents said the firm, Bauple Exploration had confirmed the drill holes were part of its efforts to explore for coal in the area.
But they said the area had since been restored and all holes filled and covered.
Responding to inquiries from The Gympie times, a Mines Department spokesman said the site had been identified as land within a commercial pine plantation managed and operated by HQPlantations, at the southern end of Toolara Forest.
"The department has been advised that the drilling site portrayed in a photograph published by The Gympie Times was fully rehabilitated and cleaned up in the time since the photograph was taken.
"Local contractors drilled an exploration test hole as part of authorised exploration works by Bauple Exploration Pty Ltd, which holds a granted Exploration Permit for Coal for the site and operates with the consent of HQPlantations," the spokesman said.
"Bauple Exploration advised the department that works finished at the end of July and the site has since been levelled and rehabilitated with the sump hole backfilled, the exploration hole capped and fencing removed as required by the conditions of the environmental authority issued for the project.
"It further advised a site inspection was conducted by HQPlantations on August 3, 2015, and that officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection plan to visit the site during the next week to inspect the completed rehabilitation.
"Bauple Exploration also advised the department that exploration works in the Toolara State Forest area should not come as any mystery to local residents as the company has attended a number of public forums to inform and explain its exploration works program.
"The Queensland Resources Council estimates only a small percentage of exploration projects become mines."