Cameby Downs is an open-cut coal mine located in the Western Downs.
Cameby Downs is an open-cut coal mine located in the Western Downs. Robert Rough

Yancoal applies for 162 year expansion of Cameby Downs Mine

ACTIVIST Group, "Stop Brisbane Coal Trains (SBCT)" has expressed deep concern over an application to extend the operation of the Western Downs' mine, Cameby Downs, to a further 162 years.

Cameby Downs Mine, located 30km northwest of Chinchilla in the Surat Basin, is an open cut coal mine operated by Yancoal and owned by the Yanzhou Coal Mining Company.

The application to have the Cameby Downs' Environmental Authority (EA) amended to an additional 162 years, was lodged several months ago, spokesman for SBCT, John Gordon said.

"That's to the year 2177. In an era when coal has tanked and become a world energy pariah?" Mr Gordon said.

"This is nothing more than resource sand-bagging, so as to shore up Yancoal's bottom line, which has been haemorrhaging without so much as a tourniquet over the last year or so."

A spokesperson from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) confirmed the operators of Cameby Downs Mine, Yancoal, had applied to amend their EA to "allow mining to continue at the current rate".

However, the DEHP also stated that the proposed mine plan was to allow mining to continue at the site for a "further 150 years or so," not 162- as stated in Yanocoal's official consideration report.

SBCT expressed alarm over the company's plans to divert Columboola Creek, the waterway located on the site.

"Traditionally, mining creek diversions in Queensland have been an unmitigated [disaster]," Mr Gordon said.

SBCT said they suspected the timing of the application for mine expansion intentionally coincided with the current controversy over the Acland Mine.

"This is the [Yancoal] thinking, 'Heck, we better baton down the hatches and go for all we can get here," Mr Gordon said.

Mr Gordon believed the application for 162 years was preparation for an "on sale".

"They get this application through and they'll have their resources secure to sell Cameby Downs," Mr Gordon said.

The Chinchilla News have contacted Yancoal for comment.



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