New challenge to coal mine proposal

While the NSW Government has approved Ashton Coal’s new mine expansion near Singleton, conservationists and landowners have appealed the decision in court.

ABC News reports some locals have launched a last ditch effort in court to stop Ashton Coal’s South East Open Cut (SEOC) mine development.

Landowner Wendy Bowman said the Environmental Defender’s Office was assisting in the claim, which would be heard sometime over the next few months.

"The Hunter Environment Lobby has put in an appeal and the EDO's office is handling that and possibly that will come any time probably after the middle of January to February because all of the law courts shut down for nearly a month," she said.

"I think that probably if we don't win this one, well I suppose it really couldn't go on any further because nobody can afford to keep going on."

The SEOC project will consist of an open cut coal mine producing up to 3.6mtpa, as well as associated infrastructure, handling, and train loading facilities.

Activists say the project will do irreversible damage to local waterways if it goes ahead, but in its environmental assessment report Ashton said detailed study of the project had been made to ensure the mine stayed within appropriate guidelines.

You can read the company’s environmental assessment here.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.