8 December 2022
Mackay Conservation Group has welcomed today’s announcement that Glencore has abandoned its Valeria coal mine proposal, a greenfield project near Capella in Central Queensland.
The mine would have produced 20 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal per year for 35 years. Up to 1.36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide would have been added to the atmosphere by the mine.
According to media reports, Glencore has said its decision to withdraw the project from the assessment process “is consistent with Glencore’s commitment to a responsibly managed decline of our global coal business”.
Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, said “this is a positive outcome for all Australians. Our country is already being ravaged by the effects of climate change and this mine would have made the problem worse.”
In May 2021, the International Energy Agency said that in order to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 there should be “from today, no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects”.
“Last month we were told the Queensland Government was assessing 20 greenfield coal projects, now there are 19. Glencore’s decision is a win for the environment but the fundamental message that there should be no new coal or gas projects in this state has not yet been understood by the government or the fossil fuel industry,” Mr McCallum said.
“Mackay is more at risk from climate change than other places in Australia. We will be affected more than other places by sea level rise, cyclones and increased temperatures.”
“Rather than considering new coal and gas mines, our governments should be developing plans for a transition to a new economy and developing climate change adaption strategies for our region.”
The six pit open cut Valeria mine was likely to impact on over a dozen nationally listed threatened species.
The mine would have destroyed 10,365 ha of land 270km west of Rockhampton near Capella - a key agricultural region where wheat, sorghum, and beef are produced.
The rail line and associated infrastructure would have impacted a further 12,000 hectares, including prime farmland and important habitat for at least 17 threatened species or ecological communities, including the koala and greater glider.
Contact Peter McCallum, 0402 966 560