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Four parcels of land twice the size of Malta to be mined

FOUR parcels of land southwest of Mackay, altogether twice the size of Malta, could soon be mined for minerals for up to five years each.

Two mining companies, one based in Brisbane and the other in Sydney, are seeking to mine "any mineral other than coal" from the four parcels of land.

Sydney-based HB Base Metals Pty Ltd, owned by prominent businessman John McGuigan and his son James, have applied to mine a 280 square km block of land about 20km southeast of Nebo on the Peaks Down Highway, and a 83 square km block about 23km southeast of Glenden.

The pair were investigated and then cleared by Federal Court in New South Wales for alleged cartel conduct involving the Obeid family.

Acuity Resources Pty Ltd, whose office is registered in Brisbane, has sought to mine a 70 square km parcel in Koumala, north of Cape Palmerston National Park and a 188 square km parcel between Eton and Hazledean that overlaps the Ben Mohr and Spencer Gap State Forests.

A spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources and Mines said the exploration permit applications are being assessed. The permits are out for public consultation in relation to Native Title rights until December 12.

If granted, all permits bar the spot in Koumala, will be valid for five years.

"A Queensland exploration permit allows exploration activities to be conducted to determine the existence, quality and quantity of a mineral within the area of the permit," they said.

"There are multiple land tenures covered by this application, if granted the holder of the [exploration permit] is required to comply with the Land Access Code and must have a conduct and compensation agreement with the relevant land holder/s prior to conducting advanced activities." Neither of the companies could be reached for comment.