Skip navigation

Environmental Breaches at Vulcan Coal Mine Call into Question Coal Companies' Commitment to Queensland's Future

Media Release

22 February 2024

A disturbing pattern of environmental  breaches by Queensland Coking Coal Pty Ltd and their subsidiary Vitrinite Pty Ltd at the Vulcan Coal Mine in the Bowen Basin has come to light, after the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) issued the company with an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) for contravening conditions of the coal mine’s environmental approvals. 

Key findings of the EPO issued by the DES include:

  • Inadequate Water Management: Vitrinite neglected to install and maintain necessary measures for water monitoring and quality control, resulting in unauthorized releases of contaminants into nearby waters.
  • Inadequate and non-existant Erosion and Sediment Control: Critical erosion and sediment control measures have been overlooked, leading to the unchecked release of mine-affected water runoff into nearby water bodies, including North Creek.
  • Disregard for Environmental Regulations:  Vitrinite failed to meet its general environmental duty and take reasonable action to prevent or minimise potential environmental harm associated with the activities at Vulcan Coal Mine.

The environmental breaches call into question Vitrinite’s commitment to complying with environmental regulations, and raise fears about potential environmental impacts from the next phase of the Vulcan Coal Mine, the Vulcan South project, which the Queensland government recently approved to clear 770 hectares of habitat for the endangered koala. The Vulcan South project is at a pivotal point, after being approved by the Queensland government it is now undergoing evaluation by Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibertsek for its impacts on nationally endangered wildlife like the koala and greater glider.

Imogen Lindenberg, Climate Campaigner at Mackay Conservation Group said:

“Vitrinite’s environmental negligence raises serious doubts about the companies' suitability as responsible operators and their commitment to the well-being of Queensland and its natural heritage. Vitrinite plans on expanding its Vulcan coal operations into the Vulcan South project that will wipe out more than 300 GABBA sized football fields of high quality koala habitat.” 

“If Vitrinite can’t be trusted to follow basic protocols to safeguard water quality, how can they be trusted to not kill koalas and greater gliders that live where they’re planning to expand their coal mining operations.” 

“We are calling on the Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to take a stand for the environment and Queensland’s much loved koalas and reject the Vulcan South coal project for its unacceptable impacts on endangered wildlife. Approving this coal mine would not only contradict efforts to take climate action but also signal a worrying leniency towards operators who have demonstrated a clear disregard for environmental and regulatory standards.”


Contact Imogen Lindenberg 0477997392

Continue Reading

Read More

Showing 1 reaction

  • Imogen Lindenberg
    published this page in Media Releases 2024-02-22 16:51:08 +1000