GVK Hancock is facing objections to its Alpha coal mine

AFTER two weeks of wrangling in court, the battle of GVK Hancock Coal against environmental groups, landholders and others, is now on hold with each side preparing to put their thoughts on paper.

GVK Hancock is facing objections to its Alpha coal mine, an enormous project worth billions to be developed in the Galilee Basin west of Mackay and Rockhampton.

Those involved must now pen submissions to the Queensland Land Court to be delivered on October 23 with responses to follow on October 25.

Further oral submissions will then be given on October 25.

Landholders near the Alpha site worry the mine could impact the water supplies for their farms, which they rely on through underground bores.

Environmental advocates, however, are fighting GVK Hancock's plan to eventually export 30 million tonnes of coal a year, because of its impact on climate change.

For Coast and Country - one of the activist groups - the burning of this coal does too much environmental damage, whether it is in Queensland or in India.

GVK Hancock argues the demand for coal would always be filled by another supplier that would risk similar if not more damage.

The hearings were dominated by arguments on groundwater, as each side presented their own complicated geohydrologic analysis.

GVK Hancock did not dispute the science of climate change or that its Alpha emissions - if it included the exported coal - would top 1.8 billion tonnes if it operated for 30 years.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for GVK Hancock said the company was confident it could show the court its Alpha coal project deserved to go ahead.



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