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Resources – Fingal Coal Mine Proposal

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 8 June 2023

Tags: Coal, Hydrogen, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, have you, or your staff, or officials from your department, met with representatives of the companies Hydrogen Ready Carbon Mining Pty Ltd or Paladin Hydrogen who are trying to open a new coal mine at Fingal? This is Dave Hodgson, like you a man of faith, a Pentecostal, and also a former mercenary from Zimbabwe. Have you met with Mr Hodgson?

Mr ELLIS - No.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, you have not. So you have no line of sight as Minister for Resources to this proposal to open a new coal mine at Fingal?

Mr ELLIS - Two totally separate things, whether we have met and whether we have line of sight. Obviously I have a responsibility in terms of managing mining in Tasmania and we work closely with mining proponents around the state on a range of different matters. I am aware that Hydrogen Ready Carbon Mining hold one exploration licence and one mining lease for coal in Fingal Tier area, a mining lease which is ML for M 2012, expires in August 2023. At that time the lessee can apply to renew the lease in accordance with the provisions of the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995. The mining lease and defined coal resource are not located on productive agricultural land. Production of coal has not occurred on the lease and MRT have not been provided with a revised mining plan or proposed production figures since the lease was granted. MRT is aware of the proposed Calder Hydrogen Project and the claim it will be zero emission. However, to date, no technical details have been provided to MRT.

The big supporter of coal mining in the Fingal Valley, was of course, Bob Brown with his failed project for a coal fired power station there, rather than renewable energy. In terms of meetings, no oversight yes.

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, can you please detail the following:

The total number of exploration licences at 1 January for 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023 and now, broken down by the category of mineral.

The total area in square kilometres covered by exploration licences at 1 January 2018 through to 2023, broken down by category of mineral.

The total number of exploration licence applications currently under assessment and the total area in square kilometres they cover broken down by category of mineral.

The total number of active exploration release areas and the total area in square kilometres they cover broken down by category of mineral.

I am very happy to put this on notice, but I had to read them in.

Mr ELLIS - If you want to provide us those numbers. I will just ask the department to see what is available.

I have some information, Ms O'Connor, of interest. I can provide in the first instance on some tenement matters.

As of 30 May 2023 - 504 mining leases, 184 exploration licences and 17 retention licences granted or under application in the state. Mining leases cover a 0.88 per cent which goes to show how strongly performing this sector is for our economy, given its majority of exports and exploration licences cover approximately 32 per cent of the state's land area. The land area exposed to current mining operations is much less than the 0.88 per cent covered by mining leases. Happy to take that information on notice. I will pass it to the team to see what else is available.

Mr STEWART - We can provide those figures exactly for you. At the point that all tenements that are currently in force, are available on line on the MRT website or on the list.

Ms O'CONNOR - The total areas per square kilometres for example?

Mr STEWART - Currently, because you have them on different years.

Ms O'CONNOR - I do have different years.

Mr STEWART - We would have to take that on notice.