Hume Coal to offload property after mine rejection

Hume Coal

Hume Coal has put its 1308-hectare New South Wales property on the market after its associated $533 million underground coal mine was disapproved by the state’s Independent Planning Commission.

It is understood the company, a subsidiary of Korean steel enterprise POSCO, is asking for more than $60 million for the estate.

Hume Coal project manager Rod Doyle said potential applicants were currently being assessed.

“There’s not been an inundation (of applicants). I don’t know the exact numbers but we’ve been collecting interested parties ourselves at Hume, and we’ve also got real estate parties interested as well,” he told Australian Mining.

Doyle said the sale was directly connected to the NSW Government’s decision to refuse to project, with the aim to regain the finances initially committed to the property.

A decision driven by POSCO, Doyle said Hume Coal isn’t looking beyond the sale as the company aims to consolidate its assets.

“Absolutely it’s POSCO’s decision to sell the property. They own the organisation and they’re the ultimate owners of the land,” Doyle said.

“I guess it’s one step at a time for us and the sale is the primary purpose and our primary goal at this moment.”

Hume Coal’s mine application was rejected earlier this month, with the project’s potential impacts deemed to outweigh its benefits.

Once operational, Hume Coal had plans to extract approximately 50 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal over 23 years.

The project also included a proposed rail loop so that coal could be transported to Port Kembla.

Hume Coal considered coal as a strategic resource, including for steel production and electricity generation, while also inferring the suitability of the mining method for managing subsidence and a range of other environmental impacts.

The company advocated the mine would bring economic benefits to the region and NSW, but the Independent Planning Commission considered the potential risks too great, citing groundwater drawdown, risks to surface water, impacts to local biodiversity and more.

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