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Community welcomes finance failure for Ipswich coal mine in Queensland

Bremer Valley residents have welcomed the failure of Coalbank to raise the finances to buy the mothballed Ebenezer coal mine, near Ispwich.

Shirley Doyle of the Rosewood District Protection Organisation (RDPO) lives near the mine and has long campaigned for the mine’s closure.

Zedemar Holdings has been trying to sell the closed mine since 2013.

"Coalbank and Zenebar Holdings never had a social licence to proceed with this mine,” Mrs Doyle said.

“The community has opposed any further mining in the area for many years so this is great news for our community. We continue to call on the government to extinguish coal licences and leases throughout the Bremer Valley and Ipswich region to ensure certainly for our livelihoods, our farmlands, health and well-being." 

The State Government approved two leases totalling around 9500 hectares for open cut coal mining that would gouge through the Bremer Valley, near Ipswich.

The leases involved the Ebenezer and Bremer View coal projects stretching from Ebenezer to Mount Walker and beyond.  Both of these leases now will not proceed.

Residents are opposed to the mines because of threats to their homes, farms, water, health and the environment in this residential corridor.

Lock the Gate’s South-East Qld Coordinator Julie Devine said coal projects in or near outer Brisbane’s medium-density residential and agriculture areas were no longer acceptable.

“Protecting our food production areas and water supplies should be a high priority in this region,” she said. “We call on the Queensland government to take steps to extinguish licences and leases where they threaten water supplies, food production and public health."

Financial analyst, Tim Buckley of the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), said coal companies across the world were struggling to attract investment, while the renewable energy sector was growing at an exponential rate.

Mr Buckley said the thermal seaborne coal price was down almost 60 per cent from its peak in 2011. Import demand continued to weaken, with Chinese coal imports down 38 per cent year on year in the first five months of 2015.

“Coal companies failed to anticipate a collapse in demand from China, the world's largest importer of coal,” he said. “The combination of global import demand contracting and a sustained state of export oversupply means stabilisation of the coal market is not even on the horizon. With the structural decline of seaborne thermal coal increasingly evident, so supply rationalisation is an inevitable consequence." 

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