Mining firm believes action in High Court will fail

Ebenezer coal mine.
Ebenezer coal mine. David Nielsen

THE fight to stop the Ebenezer coal mine near Amberley from reopening has gone all the way to the High Court.

OGL Resources, the company that plans to reopen the inactive mine, announced the development to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The legal challenge is against former Queensland Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe' renewing the mining lease for Ebenezer for 15 years.

The challenge was dismissed in the Supreme Court on May 28 after the three judges voted two to one against the opponents' case.

OGL managing director and chief executive Allan Fidock sought to reassure investors the company's plans remained on track.

"I can assure shareholders OGL remains determined to complete the acquisition of these tenements and commence development of what continues to be an economic and valuable reserve of high quality thermal coal, even in the currently stressed international coal market," Mr Fidock said.

OGL plans to mine 13,000,000 tonnes of coal from the Ebenezer mine over the next decade, creating up to 70 jobs.

"It should also be noted that while this legal challenge is being considered, the minister's decision remains valid and mining operations can commence at any time on the lease area," he said.

"The company remains confident in a positive outcome for OGL from this legal process and will update shareholders and the market on ongoing activities and progress of this High Court appeal."

Those responsible for making the appeal declined to comment publicly about it.

But rural councillor David Pahlke said the case could have serious implications for plans to mine for coal in the state.

"Remember Mabo when it was in the lower courts it was a split vote," Cr Pahlke said.

"If it is upheld it set up a huge precedent for mining in Queensland.

"My view has always been mining should be wound down between the Darling Downs and the coast. I'm not anti-mining; just in residential areas.

"But I am dead against coal seam gas mining no matter where it is."

Topics:  david pahlke ebenezer coal mine high court of australia ogl resources

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