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The NSW Government has approved the expansion of Centennial Coal’s Myuna coalmine despite concerns from environmental groups about its impact on Lake Macquarie.
While Centennial claims the expansion will have no significant impact on wildlife on Lake Macquarie’s bed environmentalists remain unconvinced.
The Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority said “at least 15 square kilometres” of the lake bed would be affected.
But a NSW Planning Department assessment reinforced Centennial’s claims and said Myuna’s expansion would “generally result it minimal” environmental impact.
It said the expansion “represents an appropriate continuation of an existing mine” and the Deparment had placed conditions on Centennial to ensure the potential environmental risks were appropriately managed.
The mine runs underneath Lake Macquarie in three seams with a current production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum.
The new expansion is set to increase production to 2 million tpa.
According to the Newcastle Herald the project will provide jobs for 210 employees for up to 21 years and includes $2 million of investment.
It will also provide a rise in royalties and payroll taxes for the Government.
Myuna’s resources exceed 380 million tonnes of low sulphur thermal coal.