Mandalong residents confront mine at community consultation

Local residents have confronted the Planning Assessment Commission at a consultation hearing for the Mandalong mine expansion.

Fifteen residents, including Mandalong Community Association president Marton Marosszeky, addressed the panel and voiced their concerns about subsidence, noise impacts and mine water discharge, ABC reported.

“We're clearly not going to stop this mine expanding,” Marosszeky said.

“It is happening and it will happen.

“But we're really concerned that some critical issues that effect the community and the valley are being overlooked.”

Marosszeky also said the group was concerned that mine operator Centennial Coal needed to give something back to the community.

“There's a requirement for a biodiversity offset strategy and we're really interested in what they're proposing there and there should be some compensation for the people in the valley who have to put up with this mine for 30 years and so far there has been no consideration of that,” he said.

Early in January Centennial Coal announced it expected final approval for the mine to be granted in the second half of 2015.

New approvals for the mine will also provide permissions for an additional 115 jobs at Mandalong,  taking the mine’s staff from 305 to 420 workers.

Centennial Coal have proposed to extend the mine life from 2019 by another 25 years, an expansion worth $265 million.

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”.

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 Planning and Assessment Commission has said the mine will generate $229 worth of royalties for NSW, and more than $130 million in Commonwealth taxes.

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