In an ongoing major proceeding in the Land Court, a coal explorer is claiming over $100 million in compensation from BHP for alleged loss of opportunity to commercialise a coal resource on an area of land over which the appellant previously held an exploration permit. The claim is made pursuant to special purpose compensation provisions in chapter 12, part 4 of the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld). At first instance, the Land Court determined that certain rail agreements were disclosable by the coal explorer, with the take or pay clauses unredacted, but subject to a very strict confidentiality regime. The coal explorer appealed the disclosure and non-redaction decisions, and BHP appealed the decision to impose the strict confidentiality regime. The coal explorer’s appeals were dismissed and BHP’s appeal was allowed.
The judgment is available here.