Rolleston Coal Expansion, near Springsure
- Glencore proposes to expand its existing Rolleston mine to the west and the south, increasing production from 14 to 19 million tonnes per annum.
- The project proposes six new open cut pits and associated mine infrastructure, directly impacting 3,942 ha of Class A “good quality agricultural land” and 5,649 ha of land in total.
- Of the economic impact of losing this land, Glencore says, “Land acquisition from cattle grazing businesses within the local area is not expected to lead to a significant impact on GRP [gross regional product] due to the low intensity of land use and low value add to the economy of the product.”
- The mine is proposed in mapped Good Quality Agricultural land in a Priority Agricultural Area mapped by the Central Qld Regional Plan in 2013.
- The new Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 is supposed to provide for the protection of Priority Agricultural Land Uses in Priority Agricultural Areas but the EIS for the Rolleston Expansion appears not to mention that the area is designated as such.
- To cut open the pits, they need to divert Sandy Creek into Meteor Creek, causing increases in already-elevated flow velocities, shear stresses and stream power.
- Three homesteads are predicted to be subjected to particulate air pollution exceeding statutory limits.
- 18,000 years of known Aboriginal history of the site “is represented by a number of known places of Indigenous cultural heritage importance. Given the number of known sites and the time and depth of occupation in the region, it is likely that further, Indigenous heritage sites exist within the Project Site”.
- The project proposes to clear 4,320 ha of remnant vegetation, nearly 1,000ha of which is remnant native grassland supporting nationally threatened plants and animals, 51ha of which supports an important population of the nationally threatened Black-breasted button-quail, critical habitat for that species.
More information on the Government assessment process here [EHP],
More information from the company including links to all EIS documents here [Glencore]