Australian mining company Yancoal has received the green light for the expansion of its Moolarben coal mine in Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
The company announced it had received approval from the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to move forward with the Stage 1 Modification 9 at the NSW mine, approving expansion of an additional 30 million tons of Run of Mine (ROM) coal over the life of the mine.
The approval for Yancoal includes two underground mines, a third open cut mine, an extension to current open pit mines and supporting infrastructure.
According to the mine’s manager John Blanning, the expansion will increase job numbers to around 300 to 400, including economic benefits to the community. “At peak production the project will contribute $47 million per annum in royalties to the NSW government and provide over $700 million in wider economic benefits to the local region.”
Conditions of the approval for the Moolarben Mine include $1.5 million in community enhancement works, upgrades to Ulan Road and ample water monitoring to ensure zero discharge from the site.
The Stage 2 project, which will also need approval, has the potential to double Moolarben production and put Yancoal’s group production by more than 25 percent over a five-year horizon.
Yancoal owns 80 percent of the Moolarben Mine and current production is operating at a capacity of 8.0 million tons of coal per annum ROM production.