Gemini Coal

This campaign opposes Gemini Coal in QLD.
To stop the Gemini Coal project in QLD.


Gemini Coal

Proponent: Magnetic South
Location: 6km west of Dingo
Mine area: A disturbance area estimated at 1,953ha
Life of mine: 20 years
Coal volume: 36 million tonnes
Type of coal: Metallurgical

This project has morphed over time and is of extreme concern due to its proximity (adjacent) to Taunton National Park – the home of the endangered bridled nail-tail wallaby. This is a species that was once thought extinct with Taunton National Park being the only natural population of the wallaby left. The first threat was the proposed Dingo West Coal project. On 27 July 2011, an application was made by the Dingo West Coal Pty Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandanna Energy Limited) for an environmental authority for the 4,650ha mining lease application area. The department decided that the application was to be subject to an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the Environmental Protection Act 1994. In 2014, the proponent withdrew the application and Dingo West was sold to Magnetic South. Next came along Aquila Resources’ Walton Coal proposal. This project was proposed in 2017 and was required to undertake and EIS under both the Queensland and Australian environmental legislation. In May 2022, the proponent withdrew the application. Then in 2019, Magentic South submitted an application for an Environmental Authority for Gemini Coal in 2019. It lies directly adjacent to the Walton Coal project and overlays the previous Dingo West Coal project but it is much bigger. Magnetic South have now also purchased Walton Coal and are probably going to try to extend Gemini at sometime in the future. Of concern, Magnetic South have not referred the project for an assessment under the EPBC Act, and they have not been required to undertake and EIS, despite the significant impacts the mine will cause to the local area, threatened species and communities and local water quality. But there is some hope. Local landholders have taken Magnetic South to court. We should hear the outcome in the second half of 2023. Hopefully the land court recommendation is to refuse the environmental authority, but if this is not the case, we can only hope that this mine is referred to the federal government and subject to an EIS assessment process.

Environmental impacts
To be honest, the ‘real’ environmental impacts of the Gemini project are very hard to determine without thorough investigations reported in an Environmental Impact Statement. All we have to go on are limited surveys and biased assessments provided in the Environmental Authority application (EA). Key potential impacts from this project as provided in the additional information provided as part of the EA appliaction are:
* Land disturbance would be approximately 1,961 ha, of which, approximately 720 ha of is remnant vegetation;
* The clearing will impact on the of concern Eucalyptus populnea (poplar box) woodland on alluvial plains, waterway vegetation and will significantly impact on vegetation connectivity at both local scale and to core remnant areas. Hence offsets are proposed.
* Clearing will impact on the listed southern squatter pigeon (Geophaps scripta scripta), the greater glider (Petauroides volans), the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and the migratory rufous fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons). Magnetic South has concluded that the impacts are not significant as these threatened species are widespread (one would question why they are threatened and even endangered!). They will also introduce speed limits on the mine to reduce the chance of vehicle-related deaths;
* Charlevue Creek, Springton Creek and some tributaries are within the proposed mining lease area. Changes to water quality from controlled and uncontrolled discharges may impact aquatic environments within, adjacent to, and downstream of the project site;
* Over the life of the mine, scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be over 3 million tonnes of Co2-e. Scope three emissions are not reported in the application. Magnetic South do offer to consider using solar lighting and the fuel efficiency of mining equipment before purchase.
There are so many lackings in the information that Magnetic South has provided. There is no assessment of the impacts on the endangered bridled nailtail wallaby or koala which are known from the area. Understanding the real impacts of this mine on all endangered and threatened species is essential if Australia is serious about the aim of no further extinctions of species or communities.

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Campaign Details

Group Leading this Campaign: Environmental Advocacy in Central Queensland

Campaign Target Type:

Who this Campaign is Targeting: Magnetic South

Main Issue of the Campaign:

Campaign Ran From: 2011 to 2024

Campaign Outcome:

Geographic Range of Activity:


Gemini Coal