New open-cut mine proposed for Darling Downs
A NEW open-cut mining operation has been proposed for Cooyar.
Australian company Mud Consultancy's application for the mine has been opened for objections and submissions.
According to the application, 31 hectares of land would be mined off Cooyar Rangemore Rd, about 14 km west of Cooyar.
Mud Consultancy director John Vella said the company planned to search for silica on the site.
"Our mission is to try and find high levels of plant available silica because the benefits of silica to plants is becoming widely documented," he said.
Based in New South Wales, Mr Vella said the mining venture was a first for the company whose main business was growing seedlings.
"It will help, number one, to prevent plants from attacks from diseases, insects and increases plants' ability to withstand stress," he said.
"When you combine all those things together it gives us the ability to grow plants with a lot fewer chemicals."
Mr Vella said when the company started to mine and how long would depend on if it actually found silica in the soil.
"There are some peculiarities about that particular site; we will be doing a full study," he said.
"When you do your survey you might only find two or three hectares or you might find that there is nothing there.
"It is a matter of doing a proper study, samples down to various depths to see what is actually there and if we had a good hunch."
Mr Vella wanted to assure residents Mud wasn't like a coal seam gas mine and would not put chemicals in the soil.
"The land should be restored to a natural state," he said.
"We are just extracting the minerals if we find them; it's exploratory at this stage."
One part of a property is named in the application, which is currently used for cattle breeding and fattening.
Mr Vella said that he had met with the owners and that it should not affect their grazing activity.
The owners of the property did not wish to comment on the proposed mine, but were surprised to hear of the application, after only briefly speaking with the company late last year.