Anglo American submits Drayton South mine plan a third time

Image: Anglo American

Anglo American has submitted plans to develop its Drayton South mine for the third time.

Two previous attempts to build the mine were rejected by the Planning Assessment Commission.

The Drayton South expansion is to be a replacement for Drayton mine which is set to run out of coal in 2017.

Anglo’s most current proposal will see the company mine 75 million tonnes over 17 years instead of 97 million tonnes over 20 years.

The scaled-back mine plan will also provide a significant buffer between the Coolmoore and Darley horse studs, the company said.

Anglo’s previous plans for Drayton South were rejected by the PAC because of the effect it would have on nearby horse studs.

CEO of Anglo’s coal business Seamus French said the company planned to lodge an Environmental Impact Statement for the project in early 2015.

“Anglo American will develop a new project to provide employment and operational continuity for the Drayton workforce, address the Planning Assessment Commission’s October 2014 report and deliver world-class environmental management practices around rehabilitation, noise, dust, visual amenity, proximity to neighbours and equine health,” French said.

“We have fully addressed the PAC’s specific concerns regarding proximity to the horse studs by moving operations back behind the PAC-prescribed second ridgeline, which means the mine will be more than two kilometres from both Darley and Coolmore’s main operating areas and fully complies with the PAC’s boundary requirements.”

French said he hoped the NSW government honoured recent comments about the need for planning reform and shorter project assessment periods when examining the Drayton South proposal.

French said recent comments made by the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association, criticising the planning system for allowing proponents to make “numerous” attempts at projects were irrelevant.