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New Acland coal mine: Controversial expansion approved by Josh Frydenberg

The ABC’s Isobel Roe reports (20.1.17) on an expansion of the New Acland coal mine in Queensland’s Darling Downs, given next stage approval by the federal Environment and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg.

‘A controversial $900 million coal mine expansion on Queensland’s Darling Downs has been approved by Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, but the project has more hurdles to clear before it can go ahead.

‘New Hope Coal plans to expand its New Acland mine onto 3,668 hectares of agricultural land — before it is expected to run out of coal this year.

‘The extension will increase its maximum thermal coal production from 5.2 million tonnes per annum to 7.5 million tonnes per annum across three new open-cut pits.

‘Nearby farmers and anti-coal activists last year underwent Queensland’s most protracted Land Court battle against the project but a decision is yet to be handed down.

‘The Oakey Coal Action Alliance, led by nearby property owner Frank Ashman, has said New Hope Coal’s underground water modelling is flawed and the mine’s impact on underground water would be severe.’

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