Brought to you by:
Ebix
Ebix

Liberty Mutual won't commit on plans for Queensland mine

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google

US insurer Liberty Mutual has declined to comment on whether it still intends to go ahead with the Baralaba South mining project in Queensland.

A spokesman for the insurer told insuranceNEWS.com.au the company “doesn’t have anything further to share at this time”.

Last month the insurer confirmed it will not be lodging an environmental impact statement for the project that it owns through subsidiary Liberty Metals and Mining Holdings.

“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,” the spokesman said at that time.

The environmental impact statement was to have been submitted by April 30 as part of the multi-stage process for the project. The final terms of reference have already been issued.

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science says it “is seeking advice from the proponent as to whether they wish to formally withdraw from the [environmental impact statement] process”.

“The proponent did not seek a formal extension so the [environmental impact assessment] process has now been suspended,” the department says in a statement to insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“The proponent would need to submit a new draft terms of reference and undergo public notification before submitting an [environmental impact statement].”

Mount Ramsay Coal Company, the proponent for the project, is a subsidiary that is part of Liberty Mutual’s investment, the insurer’s spokesman said.

Pro-climate activists and local community groups strongly oppose the mining project, campaigning fiercely against it.

They say the proposed mine will lead to land degradation, affect water supplies and leave a toxic final void on the floodplain in perpetuity.

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 could be extracted annually.