GLOUCESTER Resources Limited (GRL) says there has been a deliberate campaign by opponents of the Rocky Hill coal project to propagate rumours and myths about the proposed open cut coal mine.
“The company would like the community to make an informed decision about the benefits of the project by relying on the facts presented in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),” chief executive Grant Polwarth said.
He urged Gloucester residents to consider several factors addressed in the EIS on health impacts, the affect on agricultural land and the economic and flow-on benefits to the town if the mine was approved.
“Professor David McKenzie, an expert in respiratory medicine at the Prince of Wales Hospital, says the potential risk to health from the mine is very small and within acceptable levels,” Mr Polwarth said.
“The mine will be located on land which is classified as class four and five agricultural land. No prime agricultural land will be disturbed by the project.
“More than $2 million will be spent on upgrades to local roads and intersections, including the replacement of the Jacks Road Bridge.
“GRL has promised a generous community grants program which will generate up to $8
million to benefit the Gloucester community. The project will create up to 100 construction jobs and up to 150 jobs when fully operational.
“The company wants a minimum of 75 per cent of its employees to be local residents.”
He said the environmental impacts of the mine were also negligible.
“There will be no final void left at the end of the project. Disturbed land will be progressively rehabilitated. All topsoil and suitable subsoil will be removed prior to mining and used in the rehabilitation program,” he said.
“There will be negligible impacts on surface water and groundwater.
“Three visibility and noise barriers will be built which will screen almost all mining activity from view. These will be vegetated using local species and will be in addition to the 9000 seedlings already planted by the company.”
Mr Polwarth said the mine would provide an $18.5 million per annum boost to the Gloucester economy.
“The alternative for Gloucester is a continued exodus of people in their primary working years and a backlog of infrastructure work not completed due to Gloucester councilʼs dire financial position,” he said.
Submissions for the Rocky Hill EIS close on October 28. Council will hold an extraordinary meeting today to discuss its response to the EIS.
- MEANWHILE, GRL has again rejected any claims that Rocky Hill mine backer Hans Mende has any ties to Stratford and Duralie coal miners Yancoal.
A spokesman for GRL said a letter in last week’s Advocate suggesting Mr Mende was a director of Yancoal or its parent company Yanzhou Mining was wrong.
The spokesman cited the Yanocal website and Mr Mende’s absence from its listed board of directors as proof the mining tycoon had no connection to the company.
GRL made strong denials to claims that Mr Mende had connections to Yancoal in a statement published by the Advocate on October 2.