Glencore has received New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment (DPIE) approval for its Glendell Continued Operations project located in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales.
A final determination on the project will now be made by the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) following its assessment process that will include a public hearing.
The Glendell open cut coal mine is part of Glencore Coal’s Mount Owen complex at Ravensworth.
The complex contains the Mt Owen, Ravensworth East and Glendell mines, with the integration of these operations enabling all sites to use a single coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) as well as infrastructure at the Mt Owen mine.
The Glendell project proposes to continue mining for a further 21 years beyond current approvals to around 2044 on land almost completely owned by Glencore.
The project involves extending the life of the existing operations by establishing a new mining area, the Glendell pit extension, to the north of the current Glendell pit.
Development of the Glendell pit extension would enable the extraction of an additional 135 million tonnes (Mt) of run-of-mine (ROM) coal over the 21 years, at an increased production rate of up to 10 million tonnes per annum.
The project will provide employment opportunities for up to 690 personnel and create a further 350 construction jobs.
Glencore has invested more than $15 million in developing the project, and over the past five years has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders on different aspects of the project including Singleton Council, government agencies, Registered Aboriginal Parties, near neighbours, and the communities of Singleton and Broke.
It will also add $282 million in royalties that help the NSW Government continue to pay the wages of nurses, teachers and police, and to build much-needed infrastructure.
Public submissions in support of the project commented on the economic benefits, including employment generation and the payment of royalties to the NSW Government, as well as the positive social impacts, noting Glencore’s support for local businesses and community organisations.
Those opposed to the project were primarily concerned with the potential impacts on air quality, water resources and amenity impacts, along with broader commentary about the mining industry’s impact on climate change.
The DPIE concluded that Glencore designed the project in a manner that achieves a good balance between maximising the recovery of a coal resource of state significance and minimising the potential environmental impacts.