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Coal Mining & News QCoal Byerwen Coal Mine

QCoal dispute drags in Japan trading partner

QCoal founder Chris Wallin’s battle with the Queensland Labor Government over the workers’ camp at his Byerwen coal mine has unwittingly dragged in one of our major trading partners.

One of the world’s largest steel makers, Japan’s JFE is a 15 per cent partner with QCoal in Byerwen, which has been targeted by specific legislation as part of the State Government’s “Save Glenden” campaign.

Legislation was introduced attached to the Child Protection Amendment Bill last year which will force the closure of the mining camp and the forced relocation of the workforce to the small Glencore mining town of Glenden 40 minutes’ drive away.

Like their partner QCoal, no-one told JFE, Queensland’s largest single trading partner, that the legislation was being introduced and rammed through state parliament in a day.

Importantly, they also were not told that the existing three mining leases associated with the Byerwen mine would be retrospectively withdrawn by the State Government if QCoal was unable to meet its deadlines of the staged closure of the camp.

The fact that there is nowhere near enough suitable accommodation in Glenden to accommodate up to 800 workers and that the first deadline for 10 per cent of the workforce to be housed in the town by 2025 is unlikely to be able to be met means this massive investment, and the future of the mine and the town, is in doubt.

It also highlights the sovereign risk issues currently plaguing the mining industry in Queensland as international investors reassess Queensland as a safe place to invest in the years ahead. Two years ago Queensland raised the top royalty rate 15 per cent to 40 per cent on coal and gas without prior consultation, a move which then Japanese Ambassador Shingo Yamagami said sent “shockwaves” through Tokyo’s stockmarkets.


Source: The Australian