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Stanmore Coal has reached an agreement with Blue Energy to capture, process and market mine gas from its proposed Isaac Plains underground coal mine in the northern Bowen Basin.

The two companies have executed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) relating to an area where the underground project overlaps with Blue Energy’s tenement in the northern Bowen Basin.

Blue Energy stated that the capture and use of mine methane gas would have environmental and safety benefits.

From a safety perspective, this will mitigate risks of venting and flaring of any future fugitive gas emissions from the mine and lower the risk of underground gas release.

Capturing gas that would otherwise be a waste product will also help Stanmore Coal improve carbon emission targets at its proposed mine.

“The level of cooperation between Blue and Stanmore to rapidly agree a course of action on jointly dealing with the fugitive emissions and turning an otherwise waste product into a potentially valuable product for Stanmore, Blue and Queensland Treasury, augured well for the joint development of the coal and gas resources in the respective tenements,” Blue Energy managing director John Phillips said.

“It will also assist in lowering greenhouse gas emissions from both the coal and gas industries and contribute to Australia meeting its Paris targets.”

Blue Energy expects the deal to kickstart further agreements with other coal companies in the Bowen Basin region.

This follows a recent commitment by the Queensland Government of $5 million for a feasibility study for a gas pipeline between the Moranbah and the east coast market.

The study will examine the feasibility of transporting gas mixed with methane from coal mines from the Bowen Basin along the proposed pipeline route.

The north Bowen Basin has been regarded as one of three high graded basins for new gas supplies in Australia, according to the 2020 Federal Budget.

Stanmore Coal acquired Isaac Plains in 2015 and recently completed a bankable feasibility study of the project, which is expected to produce 2.5 million tonnes of saleable coal a year.