The state’s independent Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) has rejected the Drayton South Coal Project.
Anglo American owners of the Drayton open cut mine had proposed to continue their operations into the southern part of their existing mine lease once current production ceased in 2015.
Their development known as the Drayton South project would have utilised existing Drayton infrastructure and equipment as well as their 500 employees.
But the expansion of the mine brought it close to two of the country’s biggest thoroughbred horse studs Coolmore and Darley (Woodlands).
In the PAC review on the project the Commission concluded that the open cut mine should not proceed at the planned scale in this location.
“The Coolmore and Woodlands horse studs should be recognised as essential to the broader Equine Critical Industry Cluster and given the highest level of protection from the impacts of mining, “ the review states.
“The mine plan proposed for the site should not be approved.”
In a media statement from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure says this is one step in a comprehensive assessment of the proposal – albeit an important one – and no final decision has been made.
The Department of Planning and Infrastructure's assessment of the project is ongoing and the department will now give careful consideration to the PAC report, alongside other important input such as public submissions, stakeholder input and the company's response to issues raised.
Once the department finalises its assessment, it will make a recommendation to a differently-constituted panel of the PAC for a final decision.
The PAC’s report and all other relevant documents relating to the department’s assessment of the project can be found by visiting www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au and searching for Drayton South.