The Mandalong Coal Mine expansion will provide permissions for an additional 115 jobs at the Central Coast mine later this year.
A spokesperson for Centennial coal said the company expected final approval for the mine to be granted in the second half of 2015.
“Department of Planning has referred has referred their report to the Planning and Assessment Commission for review in January, then it will go through the public hearing process after that, the spokesperson said.
Mine owner Centennial Coal said the public hearings would not commence this month, as was reported by ABC last week.
“It’s difficult to determine the timeline with respect to when these things will happen because we have a state election happening in March,” the spokesperson said.
Centennial Coal have proposed to extend the mine life from 2019 by another 25 years, an expansion worth $265 million.
Despite a majority of supportive submissions made for the environmental impact statement, key concerns related to the prospect of subsidence-related impacts to natural features and built infrastructure, amenity impacts related to noise.
The expansion area proposed by Centennial will extend underneath the M1 Pacific Motorway, which connects Sydney to Newcastle.
The EIS said the rock layers covering the coal seam have low permeability “which would prevent significant mining impacts on the [Mandalong] valley’s alluvial groundwater resources”.
Centennial Coal did not anticipate any broad opposition to expansion of the mine, due to the large number of supportive submissions.
The Mandalong underground mine is located near Morisset on the Central Coast of NSW, and after expansion will extract up to six million tonnes of thermal coal per year using longwall and bord-and-pillar mining methods.
The expansion would also create an additional 115 jobs in the region, taking the mines staff from 305 to 420 workers.
The Planning and Assessment Commission has said the mine will generate $229 worth of royalties for NSW, and more than $130 million in Commonwealth taxes.