FoE Brisbane takes Wandoan MEGA coal mine to court
Global mining giant Xstrata will today face the Land Court of Queensland
over the greenhouse impacts of its proposed Wandoan mega coal mine.
Friends of the Earth lodged the objection with the Land Court due to the
colossal carbon emissions from the mine. They say that the mega mine
will have disastrous impacts and should simply not go ahead.
“Each year that the Wandoan mine operates it will result in more
greenhouse pollution than 150 countries. The impacts that this will
cause on our climate and the Great Barrier Reef are unacceptable and
will be around long after the mine is closed,” said Friends of the Earth
spokesperson Dr John Mackenzie.
Todays initial hearing will set out the scope and timing of the trial,
which will call a variety of experts to give evidence on the impacts
that this mine will have on Queensland’s environment and the global climate.
Each year the proposed Xstrata coal mine will extract 30 million tonnes
of coal and cause 47 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution, a sizable
0.15% of annual global emissions.
If the mine goes ahead, it will be one of the largest coal mines in the
“This project will lock Queensland into a huge expansion of the worlds
dirtiest energy source for the next three decades, when the only
responsible thing to do is transition to a cleaner economy,” said Dr
“Approving mega coal mines which lead to massive carbon emissions will
be another nail in the coffin for the Great Barrier Reef,” said John
Mackenzie from FoE. “Queensland will lose an economic asset which
generates over $6 billion dollars annually and provides over 50 000 jobs”
“Queensland’s climate is set to worsen over coming decades. The CSIRO
predicts more extreme floods and cyclones to batter the state, and much
harsher droughts that could decimate rural industries.”
The proposed MEGA Wandoan Coal Project is located near the town of
Wandoan in Central Queensland approximately 350 km Northwest of
The proposed Wandoan MEGA COA mine is the first stage of the
gargantuan coal expansion into the Surat Basin coal deposits. The
development of the Surat Basin coal deposits operations marks a new
‘dirty phase’ in energy resource development in Australia.
The Wandoan MEGA COAL operation is being run by Xstrata Coal Queensland Pty Ltd (75%), ICRA Wandoan Pty Ltd, and Sumisho Coal Australia Pty Limited.
Xstrata plc is a multinational mining giant, with headquarters in Switzerland.
The proposed open-cut mine will extract 30 million tonnes of coal per
year, with the potential to expand to 40 million tonnes per year. The
mining operations require the development of substantial new rail, port
and water supply infrastructure in the region.
This infrastructure will be partly funded and subsidized by taxpayers through the Queensland
Government. These infrastructure projects will also cause substantial environmental impacts.
The new Surat Basin Rail project requires 220 km of rail line connecting Wandoan with the Moura- Gladstone Line to transport the coal the Gladstone.
The coal will be shipped from the either:
· the proposed Wiggins Island Coal Terminal in the Port of Gladstone to be built by the Queensland Government or
· The Balaclava Island Coal Export Terminal, to be built by Xstrata Coal Queensland Pty Ltd.
The MEGA MINE also requires a new water supply for processing the coal from either:
· Proposed new Nathan Dam and glebe Weir on the Dawson River;
· New bore fields in the Great Artesian Basin; or
· Water from coal seam methane operations.
The Nathan Dam and Glebe that were proposed by the Queensland Government owned Sunwater has already been rejected by the Commonwealth Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) due to its potential impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.
Carbon emissions and impacts
Coal is one of the most carbon intensive fossil fuels and is a major source of global greenhouse emissions. The proposed MEGA COAL mine at Wandoan will contribute an estimated 0.15% of global carbon emissions each year over the next three decades proposed for mining. Once these emissions enter the atmosphere they will contribute to global climate change, which is causing unprecedented climate impacts in Queensland.
There has been an observed increase in temperatures, more severe storms and cyclones and more intense droughts in Queensland, which will worsen over the coming decades.
PRESS RELEASE FoE AUSTRALIA – contact Dr John Mackenzie, Friends of the Earth Media Spokesperson, ph: 0405 433 550 email:
email@example.com for futher information