The NSW Government has approved plans for a mining expansion under Sydney’s drinking water catchment that is expected to create up to 600 new jobs and deliver a range of benefits to the industry.
Peabody Energy was given the green light to mine under Woronora Dam last week, marking the end of an extensive approvals process spanning more than 18 months.
The company submitted plans to mine under the site last year, but was rejected amid concerns the development may damage roads, bridges, heritage sites and watercourses at ground level.
Peabody general manager of external affairs Jennifer Morgans said the approved plans will leave buffer zones around some catchment areas to conserve waterways and heritage sites.
“The development will have no significant impact on the surrounding area and there will be no loss to quantity or quality of water,” she told MINING DAILY.
Morgans expects the development will provide direct employment for at least 320 people and may create 600 jobs in the area.
““The project will provide substantial economic and social contributions to the local and regional community,” she said. “It will also kick start a range of infrastructure improvements that will greatly benefit the mining sector.”
Morgans said the development will also enable the company to trial new longwall technology that may benefit the wider industry.
“It will give us an opportunity to use mining backfill technology that stores waste underground instead of having to transport it off-site,” she said. “It will minimize the use of trucks and cut emissions in the area.”
The development is expected to extend the mine’s life by 25 years and allow the company to ramp-up production from 1.5Mt to 3Mt by 2035.
“This project will allow us to push forward new technologies that will benefit operations in a number of Australian coal mines,” she said.