New longwall for the Illawarra

Gujarat NRE is one step closer to developing its next longwall operation after the NSW Department of Planning recommended its approval.

Gujarat NRE is one step closer to developing its next longwall operation after the NSW Department of Planning recommended its approval.

The approval of Longwall 5 at NRE’s mine at Russell Vale would strengthen the Illawarra’s coking coal operations and help to retain 330 jobs, the Illawarra Mercury reported

The proposal includes the construction of three underground roads as well as the approval to extract coal from the longwall.

The department’s recommendations will be assessed by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission before a final decision is made.

The report addressed concerns about the environment surrounding impacts of the mining on nearby swamps and groundwater.

‘Based on the information available, the department does not expect any significant subsidence impacts or environmental consequences on these important surface water features,’’ it said.

‘‘Surface water flow in Cataract Creek may be slightly reduced due to predicted minor increases in groundwater infiltration. However, such minor surface water losses are expected to report to the surface either further downstream in Cataract Creek, or else directly to the reservoir.’’

Indian-owned mining firm Gujarat NRE Coking Coal announced plans to invest $500 million in the expansion of its coal mines in New South Wales in 2010.

Gujarat NRE owns and operates two underground coal mines in the Illawarra region.

The company reinvigorated the local industry when it originally bought two mines that had ceased operations, and invested over $270 million to revive the mines, creating 450 new jobs over the years.

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