The Planning Assessment Commission will meet in Gunnedah on Thursday to hear final submissions on Shenhua’s Watermark Coal project.
The open-cut coal project, located 25 km south-east of Gunnedah, will produce 10 million tonnes of coal per annum if approved, and employ more than 600 people.
PAC’s three-person panel has said it will hand down a decision about the project no later than January 20.
The project has come under intense scrutiny from some local farmers in the region who are concerned over water and environmental impacts.
Another local farmer and outspoken critic of the mine Tim Duddy said opponents of the project believe they have a strong case for PAC.