Xstrata has suspended its multi billion dollar project in the Surat Basin in central Queensland. The $186 million worth expenditure was to be used to develop the $6 billion Wandon thermal coal project located south west of Gladstone.
The move has been considered a pressure tactic on the Federal Government to reconsider the RSPT. Xstrata Coal has reiterated that it is not bluffing, and that it would not develop the project if the government passed the RSPT in its current form.
The company is still making the land purchases that it had committed to the federal government before the tax on mining was announced. They feel honor bound to purchase the land for which offers had already been made to members of the Wandoan community. This was brought out at the town meeting held last week and the agreement offers are going to be met by the company.
Xstrata Coal spokesman James Rickards said that the company rejects claims it is trying to bluff the Federal Government or the community about the suspension. The project will remain on hold till the whole debate over the RSPT is resolved.