Australian Pacific Coal to modify Dartbrook restart proposal

Image: Australian Pacific Coal.

Australian Pacific Coal’s appeal to extend the mothballed Dartbrook underground coal mine in New South Wales remains in negotiation between the company and the Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

On behalf of the New South Wales Minister for Planning, Infrastructure and Environment, the IPC is conducting the appeal, which included a conciliation conference held earlier this month.

Without a clear path for the future of the Hunter Valley mine, Dartbrook has been on care and maintenance since late 2006.

Australian Pacific Coal already has permission to operate the Dartbrook mine until December 5 2022 and is attempting to obtain development consent for a further five years until December 2027.

However, the IPC deemed that a five-year extension to the Dartbrook mine beyond 2022 was “not in the public interest” and blocked Australian Pacific Coal’s modification 7 submission in September last year.

Its reasons included environmental concerns such as air quality, noise, subsidence, groundwater and greenhouse gas emissions.

The next step of Australian Pacific Coal’s long-winded appeal process is another conciliation conference to be held on July 6, under section 34 of the Land and Environment Court 1979.

“Australian Pacific Coal is preparing supplementary information and considering minor changes to the proposal as part of the conciliation process,” the company stated in an ASX announcement.

“The board also continues to consider whether, in addition to appealing against the modification 7 determination, a further modification application (modification 8) should be lodged to seek further flexibility in the manner, in which the Dartbrook underground coal mine can be restarted and operated.”

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