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Liberty Mutual 'evaluating alternatives' for Queensland coal mine

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US insurer Liberty Mutual has confirmed it will not be lodging an environmental impact statement for a Queensland coal mine project that it owns through subsidiary Liberty Metals and Mining Holdings.

The decision has been welcomed by climate activists and the local community, who have been campaigning against the development of the Baralaba South open-cut coal mine in central Queensland.

“As part of our ongoing investment processes, we’ve been evaluating alternatives for our Baralaba investment for some time and will not be submitting an environmental impact assessment for the South mine at this stage,” a spokesman for the insurer told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“We remain committed to collaborating with all stakeholders as we work through next steps.”

The environment impact statement needed to have been submitted by April 30 as part of the multi-stage process for the assessment of the project, according to public information about the mine on the Queensland Government’s website.

Save the Dawson, a community group that has campaigned against the project, has called the move by Liberty Mutual a “win for the environment”.

“I’m confident that this is game over for the mine,” Paul Stephenson, a member of the group, told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“What we need Liberty Mutual to do is just be upfront about what they are proposing to do. We want them to be clear about what they intend to do.”

The mine is located 115km south-west of Rockhampton with a lifespan of about 19 years, according to the Queensland Government website. If developed, up to five million tonnes of run-of-mine coal can be extracted annually.