Poland has rejected a request by Lubelski Wegiel Bogdanka, the country’s second largest publicly traded coal producer, to expand its mining operations. This has in turn blocked the company’s plan to double local reserves of coal.
The Environment Ministry, which in 2012 granted Australia’s Prairie Mining Ltd a permit to explore fields adjacent to Bogdanka’s sites, said that accepting the Polish producer’s bid could put the country at risk of breaching an investment protection agreement with Australia.
According to Bloomberg, the permit was key for Bogdanka’s plans to double its recoverable coal reserves from 235 million t and extend its existing mining operations to 2050.
“This isn’t good news for the company as it undermines its ability to expand its resource base,” Pawel Puchalski, an analyst, said. “Bogdanka now needs to appeal the decision.”
In an emailed statement, CEO Zbigniew Stopa, said Bogdanka was “surprised” by the environment ministry’s decision and would ask the government to reconsider its request for a new mining license in the K-6-7 field.
Australian miner, Prairie, plans to start production in the Lublin fields in 2020, seeking to mine as much as 7 million tpa of coal and employ 2000 people, it said in April.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/09092014/poland-blocks-coal-miner%E2%80%99s-ambitious-plan-1299/