A coal mine located in the Bowen Basin of central QLD could be sold by Rio Tinto to a small mining company for just $1.
The deal would see TerraCom receive the Blair Athol mining lease, land, plant and equipment along with $80mn in financial assurance for the environmental rehabilitation of the site.
However, the QLD government is being urged to block the sale on the grounds that it could leave Queensland taxpayers exposed to tens of millions of dollars in environmental costs.
Analyst for the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Tim Buckley, told the ABC rehabilitation costs for the site could run into the hundreds of millions.
A previous Rio Tinto employee who worked in mine site rehabilitation, Rick Humphries, says the $80mn bond provided to the state government would not cover the remediation of the site.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines says it is yet to receive the details of the proposed deal.