Wednesday, 16 January 2013 12:43
Queensland landowners are relieved by reports a mining company has dumped a controversial coal mine proposal.
Brisbane-based Ambre Energy has cancelled plans for a coal mine and chemical plant on prime agricultural land in the Felton Valley, 30km west of Toowoomba, according to newspaper reports.
The start-up company has written off more than $10 million in project costs, the newspaper reports.
The company had continued to pursue the project despite Queensland Premier Campbell Newman declaring last year that “no company ... has a right to develop a mining operation in the Felton Valley”.
Friends of Felton president Ian Whan on Wednesday said that while Mr Newman made that assurance in writing to a local resident in August, he was relieved to learn of Ambre cancelling the coal mine.
“It's the news we wanted to hear,” Mr Whan told ABC Radio on Wednesday.
“The real icing on the cake is to hear a confession from Ambre itself.
“They should have understood right from the beginning that we were never going to capitulate on this business and they could have saved themselves a lot of that money.”
Mr Whan said Ambre Energy had not replied to several letters.
“It hasn't been possible to have a meaningful conversation with them,” he said.
Farmers would not have compromised their position in allowing a chemical plant but no coal mine, with Mr Whan adding that open-cut mining would have irreversibly destroyed future agricultural production.
“Those losses would go in perpetuity because the soil cannot be rehabilitated to its original condition,” he said.
Comment has been sought from Ambre Energy, which mines coal in the US for export to Asia.
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