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Alpha Coal Project update

Published by
World Coal,

GVK Hancock is developing three world class coal mining projects in the Galilee Basin – the Alpha, Alpha West, and Kevin’s Corner Coal Projects.

The Galilee Basin coal deposits are shallow with a very flat delineation, which ensures that mining operations will not impact deeper aquifers in the area.

GVK is confident that the Galilee Basin projects will not impact the Great Artesian Basin.

Approvals from State and Federal governments were guided by the comprehensive suite of environmental assessments invested in by GVK Hancock.

The company assessments included a comprehensive hydrogeological assessment, which involved detailed modelling of the underlying geology, an evaluation of groundwater and aquifer occurrences and an assessment of local and regional groundwater resources.

Works undertaken at the onsite test pit allowed validation of the groundwater models and assessments, providing the company with a clear understanding of how proposed mining operations relate to the surrounding groundwater aquifers.

In accordance with strict environmental conditions set by the State and Federal Governments, the company will have in place a comprehensive groundwater monitoring and management plan.

Landholder relations
GVK Hancock have successfully negotiated Make Good Agreements with the properties surrounding our proposed mines, which are legally binding agreements that hold the company liable in the unlikely event of unduly impacting groundwater resources on their given property.

The company pay for all legal costs incurred by landowners in the preparation and review of any Make Good Agreement, including for any required hydrological assessments.

There are landholders from outside of the area of compensation who have advanced objections against the proposed Alpha mine.

The company are prepared and willing to enter into Make Good Agreements with properties outside of the area of compensation, however GVK have no interest in purchasing such properties for prices that far exceed market value.

Land court recommendations
Alpha Mine - The Land Court challenge of the proposed Alpha mine in 2013 found that GVK Hancock’s comprehensive environmental assessments addressed all the objections in relation to climate change, economics, surface water, land use, public interest and greenhouse gas emissions.

The only recommendations from the Land Court case, pertaining to groundwater, were to do with GVK Hancock:

  1. obtaining water licences - which was already a regulatory precursor to mining;
  2. undertaking groundwater monitoring on the properties that objected – which was already proposed; and
  3. entering into Make Good Agreements with landholders that objected within 12 months of the grant of the mining lease.

After extensive negotiations and substantial fees paid by the company, two of the three landholders have been presented with reasonable Make Good Agreements. The third landholder has indicated on a number of occasions that they do not wish to meet.

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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