Glencore's $95 million Bulga Optimisation Project Modification 3 has been approved through the NSW government's fast tracked assessment process

Glencore's $95 million Bulga Optimisation Project Modification 3 has been approved through the NSW government's fast tracked assessment process.

Approval was granted by the NSW Department of Planning on July 17.

The Project was chosen according to NSW Department of Planning because it was 'supporting jobs, providing economic recovery of available coal resources using existing infrastructure, facilities and experienced personnel'.

The fast track process was designed to accelerate the assessment and determination of projects that inject investment into the NSW economy and keep people in jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is expected to employ 1000 workers and extend the life of Glencore's Bulga Coal open cut mine by four years until 2039.

Under the proposal an additional 63 million tonnes of coal will be extracted.

The project's Environmental Impact Statement was on public exhibition during October 5 to November 4 last year and received only 18 submissions with only two being community submissions voicing opposition to the modification. The other 16 submissions were from government agencies and or public authorities.

Given the low number of objections ,the project would not have required, an assessment by the NSW Independent Planning Commission.

The Bulga Coal's operation near Broke has been in existence for nearly 40 years.

A Glencore spokesperson said we welcome the NSW Government's approval of our Bulga Extension Project.

"Work on the project, which includes relocating tailings at the mine to access the coal beneath, will commence this year following Federal approval and involves significant investment in infrastructure and construction," they said.

"The project will enable our Bulga operations to continue to support almost 900 employees and 700 mainly local businesses with whom our mine spent over $330 million last year alone.

"This modification would allow the company to extract additional tonnes largely from within the same mine footprint and enable Bulga Coal to continue providing direct employment and generate additional employment during construction of new infrastructure."

Last year Bulga Coal spent almost $334 million on goods and services from over 700 businesses, many of which are local or regional.

The reason for the modification is to extract coal from under an existing tailing dam which will require removal along with some infrastructure including workshops and fuel storage.

An additional 20 hectares of the site will be disturbed as will 200ha of rehabilitated land.