Dartbrook mine reopening heads back to IPC

Plans to reopen the Dartbrook underground coal mine near Aberdeen continue with the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) now calling on the public to make submissions on the proponents latest plans for the project.

Placed in care and maintenance way back in 2006 by its then owners Anglo American plans to reopen the mine stalled when the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) handed down its determination in August 2019 that limited the number of years the mine could be operational to just three.

IPC public meeting in Muswellbrook in 2019.

IPC public meeting in Muswellbrook in 2019.

In their ruling the IPC said the mine can recommence operations using bord-and-pillar methods not the usual longwall methods and extract six million tonnes of coal until December 2022.

The mine's new owners Australian Pacific Coal in their Dartbrook Modification 7 proposal wanted to have the mine operating for a minimum seven years to 2027 and in November last year lodged an appeal against the IPC decision in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

An on site meeting between the mine's proponent AQC Darbrook Management Pty Ltd and the IPC was held in July.

As part of the Land and Environment Court's conciliation conference in those proceedings, the applicant has provided a Response to Contentions to the Commission.

The Response to Contentions adjusts aspects of Modification 7 and contains further environmental studies conducted by the Applicant after the Commission's determination of Modification 7.

The Commission invites public submissions on the Applicant's Response to Contentions until 5pm AEST on Friday September 4, 2020.