The Australian has revealed that Chinese mining giant Shenhua has been buying coal rich land throughout New South Wales in an attempt to shore up its coal base in Australia.


Over the last two years, Shenhua has bought 43 farms, at a cost of $213 million, so that it can explore coal prospects outside the township of Gunnedah in the state’s northeast.


In what The Australian calls ‘an overnight property boom for the rural community’, Shenhua has paid up to $18.3 million for a single lot of land, with other lots going for up to 18 times 1993 prices.


Shenhua is currently seeking approval from the NSW Government for its planned coal mining operation on the Liverpool Plains after the company paid $300 million for a mining exploration licence covering 19,5000 hectares.