THE NSW Government has granted a lease for mining to commence at a new underground coal mine near Narrabri.
The lease has been granted to Narrabri Coal Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Whitehaven Coal Mining Ltd, following approval of the mine from the NSW Government in November.
The mine will be located 21 kilometres south of Narrabri.
The $120 million project will provide around 80 construction and 113 operational jobs.
The mine will have the capacity to produce up to 2.5 million tonnes of coal a year for up to 50 years.
There are currently three open cut mines in the area, two of which are operated by Whitehaven Coal Mining.
Coal mined from the lease area will be used for the export market and will be transported by rail to Newcastle for export.
Stringent controls are said to have been imposed on the mining operation to protect the environment through the development consent and mining lease conditions.
Construction on the underground mine is expected to commence at the end of this month with coal production set to begin in the first half of 2009.