The New South Wales Government has given Glencore the green light to develop a new open cut mining area at the Mangoola open cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley.
Mangoola is operated by Glencore Coal subsidiary Mangoola Coal Operations.
The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has approved an additional 52-million tonnes of run-of-mine coal to be extracted from the site over eight years.
Mangoola’s operations are now expected to close in December 2030, adding 13-months to the existing development consent.
A further 145 construction and 80 operational jobs will be provided with the extension, along with ongoing employment for 400 workers.
Glencore has welcomed the approval and stated it would deliver support for the state’s economy.
“Glencore is pleased to note the NSW Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) determination to grant development consent for our Mangoola Coal continued operations project in the Upper Hunter Valley,” a Glencore spokesperson stated.
“The project has successfully met every step of the NSW environmental assessment requirements and will enable mining to continue for a further five years to 2030.”
The project will support over 60 local companies and provide $129 million in mining royalties.
Air quality concerns were raised about the project, however the IPC concluded that the impacts are “acceptable and the project is in the public interest”.
The IPC stated the Mangoola Coal continued operations project will benefit the local economy.
“Notwithstanding the concerns raised … the commission finds that on balance and when weighed against the impacts under the current policy and regulatory framework, the project would generate net positive social and economic benefits for the local area, Hunter region and to NSW,” the IPC stated.
Four conditions were imposed by the IPC alongside the approval.
This includes a prevention of environmental impacts, standards and performance measures for acceptable environmental performance, regular monitoring and reporting and on-going environmental management of Mangoola.
The Mangoola coal mine produces thermal coal, delivering more than 10 million tonnes of saleable product in 2019.
The Mangoola Coal continued operations project will use the site’s existing infrastructure while also constructing a haul road, water management infrastructure and re-alignment of Wybong Post Office Road.
Mangoola was granted development approval in 2007 under former owners Powercoal and Centennial Coal.
In 2009, Xstrata Coal (now Glencore) acquired the mine, producing first coal in February 2011.
Glencore received National Group Mine of the Year, SEW Eurodrive Coal Mine of the Year and the Flexco Excellence in Mine Safety, OH&S awards for the Mangoola coal handling and preparation plant at the 2019 Australian Mining Prospect Awards.