NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has raised the possibility of revoking the Mt Penny leases after an Independent Commission Against Corruption heard of alleged leaks of inside information and corrupt tendering processes as part of its investigation, Operation Jasper.
ICAC will investigate the circumstances surrounding the granting of the Doyles Creek exploration lease to a company associated with union stalwart John Maitland by former NSW minister for resources Ian Macdonald. This investigation has been called Operation Acacia.
NuCoal managing director Glen Lewis said: “Exploration Licence 7270, held by Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd, has absolutely nothing to do with the exploration licenses currently being investigated in Operation Jasper.
“It is quite misleading for any connection to be made between Mt Penny and Doyles Creek.”
The Operation Acacia hearings will start on March 18. They will examine events and a period in time long before NuCoal had any interest in EL 7270.
In February 2010, NuCoal acquired all of the issued capital of DCM after conducting rigorous and extensive due diligence, including the awarding of EL 7270 to DCM by the state government in December 2008, NuCoal said.
“In relation to the forthcoming public hearings, NuCoal will continue to assist ICAC as required,” the company said.
“Meanwhile, it is business as usual, and NuCoal will continue to comply with all of the legal requirements of the exploration licence under the NSW Mining Act.”