Will the mines come to Maryborough?

MARYBOROUGH could be the next resources hub of Queensland after gas company Blue Energy announced it had secured an environmental authority for two mining permits covering the Maryborough basin.

Blue Energy has already secured the native title agreements for the permits that cover almost 3000 square kilometres and is now waiting for the venture to receive final government approval before work begins.

The company is expected to begin exploratory activities later this year to test the gas potential across an area that includes Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Tiaro, Burrum Heads and Howard.

Fraser Coast residents will be able to put forward their views in the coming months as Blue Energy conducts public consultation before drilling begins.

"Normal groundwater and environmental studies together with a consultation process will be conducted ahead of any on-ground activity," CEO John Phillips said in an ASX report.

Blue Energy reports predict the recoverable gas supply in the Maryborough basin would supply the entire Australian gas market for more than 20 years.

The most recent ASX announcement said more than 23 trillion cubic feet of gas that could be recovered from the basin could potentially turn the Fraser Coast into another one of Queensland's major resources hubs.

Mr Phillips refused to comment on the likelihood of securing the government applications to begin work.

"Blue Energy is reviewing the resource potential at Maryborough which will determine our approach going forward," he said.

As part of the native title agreements, royalties and jobs will go to local indigenous people if work moves beyond the exploratory stage.

Maryborough basin is one of four in Australia that could yield major shale gas potential, according to a report released by the US government Energy Information Administration.

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