Proposed Colton coal mine map.
Proposed Colton coal mine map.

Hope fades over future of Colton coal mine

THE future of the controversial Colton Coal Mine has been thrown into jeopardy after subsidiaries of mining company New Hope Group went into voluntary administration.

Said Jahani and Shaun McKinnon from Grant Thornton were appointed voluntary administrators of Northern Energy Corporation Limited and Colton Coal Pty Ltd earlier this month.

Both companies own the Maryborough project, which was granted critical mining leases by the State Government in May last year.

Company documents reveal the directors are considering the future of the project, including the level of support the group is prepared to provide in the future.

"Work is ongoing regarding the assessment of the JORC reserves position of this asset, however it is not currently anticipated the reserve is capable of being recognised under the 2012 JORC code," the documents read.

The documents also state the carrying value of the mine's assets have been impaired as a result of higher than expected charges to the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal near Gladstone.

A New Hope spokeswoman said all other projects and operations were not affected by the decision.

The mine, which would have been located 2km north of Aldershot, was projected to produce up to 0.5 million tonnes of coking coal per year.

A number of Aldershot residents launched a lengthy campaign against New Hope to impose restrictions on the development between 2010 and 2016.

Aldershot And District Against Mining group member Sue Linforth called for New Hope to relinquish the mining licences in light of the news.

"My husband Brian worked for many years to stop this dangerous mine, even as he fought his own battle with cancer, and it is a testament to his determination that the project has still not progressed any further past the approval phase," Ms Linforth said.

"The coal dust and industrial noise from the mine would have created serious hazards for Aldershot residents, so we can breathe a sigh of relief for the moment.