LIVERPOOL Plains farmers are baffled by Shenhua Watermark’s latest move with the mining giant advertising for expressions of interest for an exploration management team.
The Caroona Action Group Chair believes the Chinese coal giant doesn’t have a current licence, after it expired last October.
“As far as I am aware, they have been non-compliant since they failed to have done significant work towards a mine in October, and have not produced water management and biodiversity studies,” Farmer Susan Lyle said.
“I believe they have still not renewed their exploration licence – although that doesn’t seem to matter in that industry.”
The advertisement asks for “experienced mining services providers to manage exploration in Gunnedah for around 123 holes with total drilling of 5000 metres”.
Shenhua declined to comment when contacted by The NVI or provide any further information about the exact location or details surrounding the exploration work.
“It is concerning, but then I have no idea what they are doing,” Mrs Lyle said.
“Once again we have been absolutely left in the dark.”
While this latest EOI for further exploration “could be anything, including compliance work for the water management or biodiversity studies”, the Caroona Coal Action Group said this type of thing is exactly the problem.
“We would really like to see more transparency, we are sick of being ignored, especially by the state,” Mrs Lyle said.
“They don’t realise the effect they are having on the farmers who have been left in limbo and hung out to dry.
“They want to invest in their property, but then what is the point if they are not going to have any water or are just going to be acquired.
“This is affecting all of us, but we can’t get any information.
“The farmers on the northern edge of the Breeza Plain are essentially being dangled on a string – it’s cruelty.”
The action group believes the entire Shenhua Watermark issue has gone too far now, and needs to be completely reviewed from start to finish.
“The whole issue is just ridiculous,” Mrs Lyle said.
“The licence was even granted by a proven corrupt minister in Ian McDonald – the risk is just too much.
“Even BHP pulled out last August because they knew that they were going to do damage – that was their decision to do that and I think that says something.
“We don’t know what is going on, but we will not be giving up.”