A coal mine in Central New South Wales has received a major lifeline with a further two decades granted to operate.
The Premier State’s Independent Planning Commission (IPC) recently decided to give Bloomfield Collieries until the year 2040 to run its Rix’s Creek South Coal Mine, 86km northwest of Newcastle.
The decision means the mine can be expanded and offer greater job security to its current workforce of nearly 300 for at least another 21 years.
Bloomfield confirmed the length of current operations will be expanded west by about 1.5km. Land will also be backfilled and remediated.
“The continuation was always intended when the mine started 30 years ago,” the company said on its website. “It would very much be business as usual at the site, with neighbours and the surrounding community not likely to notice significant change.”
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NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes praised the decision as “great news for the people of the Upper Hunter and the community of Singleton” according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
The IPC’s three-person panel decided the extension should be approved after considering “all the evidence and weighing the community’s [mixed] views”. This included noise, visual and heritage impacts.
Greenhouse gas emissions were “adequately minimised as far as practicable”, the commission said according to AAP.
The IPC accidentally released its decision eight days earlier because of an “administrative error”.