In Endocoal Limited v Glencore Queensland Pty Ltd and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection  QLC 54, the Land Court found that a coal mining company applying for a mining lease was required to enter into a make good agreement with a neighbouring coal mining operator.
In this case, Endocoal Limited (Endocoal) applied for a mining lease for an open cut coal mine near Springsure. Since 2012 Glencore Queensland Pty Ltd (Glencore) has operated the Rolleston Coal Mine, which neighbours the proposed site for the Endocoal mine. Glencore objected to the grant of the mining lease and the Environmental Authority on the basis that there would be adverse impacts to a water supply known as Naroo Dam. Glencore use water from Naroo Dam as a source of potable water as part of its mining operations and were concerned that impacts to water from Naroo Dam caused by the Endocoal mine would adversely impact its own mining operation.
The Court ultimately granted the mining lease to Endocoal but subject to a special condition that the parties enter into a make good agreement within 12 months from the grant of the mining lease as well as a number of other amended conditions in the Environmental Authority.
The Court held that the make good agreement should require Endocoal to make good any adverse impact it causes on the quality or quantity of water in Naroo Dam as a consequence of its mining operation.
This information provides advice of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
Published 2 December 2015.