Anglo American to resubmit Drayton South mine proposal

Anglo American will try to gain approval for its Drayton South mine expansion for the third time.

On Friday the company announced plans to resubmit a proposal for the site to the government early in the New Year.

It comes after the PAC rejected plans to expand Drayton South in October.

“We will submit this application as soon as possible with the aim to receive an approval with urgency early next year,” Anglo’s head of open cut operations Mark Heaton told the mine’s workforce.

“We believe the revised project plan and conditions will address the PAC concerns in a fair and reasonable manner in line with the Government’s stated policy on industry coexistence.”

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

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

The project would have extended the life of the coal mine for 20 years and produced a total of 97 million tonnes of coal.

It would have also secured the future of 500 jobs at the operation.

A previous PAC also ruled against the proposed mine.

Heaton said he hoped the NSW government honours their recent comments about the need for planning reform and shorter project assessment periods when the new application is submitted.

The company has developed an interim mine plan that means operations can continue until early next year with the existing workforce.

“However for ongoing employment continuity we require a speedy resolution for the Drayton South project,” Heaton said.

“In the meantime, we will continue to assess the resourcing requirements for Drayton mine and will notify employees of any changes as soon as possible.

“Unfortunately for our workforce, despite some recent encouraging words from the government regarding the need for planning reform, we cannot be more definitive at this point in time and the period of prolonged uncertainty continues.

“Understandably, our people are very concerned about their employment options after the beginning of next year and are looking to the government to find a solution.” 

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