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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Government clear on Underground Coal Gasification Projects

    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Government clear on Underground Coal Gasification Projects

    Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson says no further Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) projects will be considered until a supervised trial ends in 2012, and the Queensland Government has made a decision about the long term environmental feasibility of the industry.

    “The Government has been very clear about the fact there are only three trial UCG projects allowed,” Mr Robertson said.

    “Therefore, no other companies will be allowed to start another UCG technology project.

    “We have been very clear that the future of UCG technology and the potential for new projects will be based three trials pilot projects under a supervised trial due to end in 2012.

    “We make no apologies for putting the safety of the community and the environment first and that is why we are taking the steps to ensure this new technology can operate with Queensland’s strict environmental guidelines before its future in our state is determined,” he said.

    “It is irresponsible for a company to claim it is going to start a UCG project when it has no approvals.

    “An exploration permit is no guarantee to a mining permit. They can look for coal but they have no rights to take it out of the ground.

    “Furthermore, areas such as the township of Kingaroy are considered restricted land and protected from mining and exploration by the Mineral Resources Act as.

    Mr Robertson said State Government officers would attend a community meeting in Kingaroy this evening to address concerns raised by the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens group following claims potential UCG operations in the region.

    The Queensland Government released its policy on Underground Coal Gasification in February 2009.

    “The policy provides for a UCG Pilot Phase to gather the information necessary to assess the future viability of a prospective UCG industry in the State,” Mr Robertson said.

    “In particular, the policy makes provision for only three UCG Pilot Projects to demonstrate the technical, environmental and commercial viability of the UCG technology.

    “The Government asked all companies with a permit for coal to register their interest in UCG last year.

    “One company in particular, Red River Resources, did not and has not formally registered any interest in UCG,” he said.

    Media contact: 3224 8749 or 3225 1819