Moolarben expansion given the green light

The Planning Assessment Commission has approved the expansion of Yancoal’s Moolarben coal mine.

The expansion will include two underground mines, a third open cut mine, an extension to current open pit mines as well as supporting infrastructure.

This will allow Moolarben to produce 17 million tonnes per annum ROM until 2037 and create 120 new full-time jobs.

PAC said that the mine would likely cause adverse impacts to the local community living close to it, and placed strict conditions around noise and air quality.

It also placed conditions around ‘The Drip’, a natural sandstone feature on the Goulburn River that lies within the mine’s lease area.

“Management of subsidence and water impacts are critical to ensuring the Drip is protected from any potential adverse impacts from mining,” PAC said.

CEO of Yancoal Australia Reinhold Schmidt said PAC’s approval provided certainty for its people as well as local contractors and service providers.

“The Stage Two project will provide new opportunities for investment and employment within the region and demonstrates Yancoal’s long-term commitment to the Australian resources sector during a period of significant economic change,” Schmidt said.

At peak production the project will contribute $47 million per annum in royalties to the NSW government and provide over $700 million in wider economic benefits to the local region.

Greens spokesman Jeremy Buckingham slammed PAC for approving the extension project.

He claims the NSW government has approved 1.3 billion tonnes of new coal mine capacity since September.

"The flurry of coal mine approvals is negligent and represents a suicidal approach to climate change," Buckingham said.

"Approving hundreds of millions of tonnes of new coal mining is globally significant and undermines efforts to avoid dangerous climate change.”

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