Hunter has nine projects in the pipeline that would deliver over $1.5 billion in investment

The NSW Minerals Council is excited to promote the fact the Hunter has nine projects in the pipeline which they claim would deliver over $1.5 billion in investment and maintain or create over 3,400  jobs for the region.

Among those projects is the United Wambo Open Cut mine near Jerrys Plains, a joint venture  between Peabody and Glencore, with Glencore to manage the operations.

The mine will extract 150 million tonnes of thermal and semi-soft coal over a 23 year period. In February this year it was reviewed by the state’s then Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) who recommended the proponents undertake further investigations on the mine’s impacts.

Commenting on their review of the PAC report a Glencore spokesman said key issues identified by local landholders and key stakeholders, including noise and air quality, have been addressed through appropriate mitigation and changes to mine planning options.

“The mine’s rehabilitation will incorporate natural landform, similar to the benchmark work being undertaken at Glencore’s Mangoola open cut mine near Muswellbrook, and also target productive agricultural land,” they said. 

“In addition, the disturbance of native woodland has been offset through local and regional land-based offsets as well as options for contributions to a NSW Government biodiversity fund.”

Following the finalisation of Glencore’s reponse and the competition of the Department of  Planning and Environment’s merit assessment of the project a public meeting before the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) will be held in Singleton on Wednesday December 12 at the Singleton Youth Venue from 1:30pm before a final determination is made on the project.

 The IPC said the meeting would enable the Commission to listen carefully to the community’s views and was the community’s last chance to comment on the Department’s assessment report before our independent experts make a final decision.

Commission to listen carefully to the community’s views

Independent Planning Commission

In addition to United Wambo the other projects being considered for approval include the continuation/expansion of Bloomfield’s  Rix’s Creek. Glencore are in the planning process for the expansion of Glendell and there is also the proposal for an underground operation at the former Drayton South tenement that would utilise the existing infrastructure at the closed Drayton mine. 

Commenting on industry in NSW  “There are over 25 mining projects currently at various stages of the planning assessment process with the potential to deliver almost $11 billion in investment to NSW and over 13,000 jobs over the next two decades,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said.

Bates Hill Saddle Ridge - once protected now part of the expanded Warkworth open cut. Photo supplied

Bates Hill Saddle Ridge - once protected now part of the expanded Warkworth open cut. Photo supplied

“These 25 projects represent significant potential opportunities for NSW. These and more projects are needed to ensure NSW has the future production capacity to meet forecast demand,” Mr Galilee said.

Bates hill is the highest point on Saddle Ridge, this blast is the point where the mine has reached the highest barrier between Bulga and the mine. This is the point where the mine starts the decent downhill towards the village of Bulga. Photo supplied

Bates hill is the highest point on Saddle Ridge, this blast is the point where the mine has reached the highest barrier between Bulga and the mine. This is the point where the mine starts the decent downhill towards the village of Bulga. Photo supplied

However for Bulga residents and those opposed to the expansion of nearby mines earlier this month marked a turning point when Bates Hill, the highest point on Saddle Ridge, was blasted. It is the point where the mine (Yancoal’s Wakworth operation) has reached the highest barrier between the village and the mine.

Bates Hill - Photo supplied.

Bates Hill - Photo supplied.

This is the point where the mine starts the decent downhill towards Bulga. Saddle Ridge was to be protected in perpetuity when the Carr Labor Government signed a Deed of Agreement to do so in 2003. 

However the agreement was ‘torn-up’ and in 2015 the expansion of the Warkworth mine was approved.