Rio Tinto has seen a massively positive response from the local community to its planned mine expansion.
The NSW Department of Planning recently opened up the mine’s expansion plans to the public.
More than 900 positive submissions were made for the expansion.
The news was welcomed by the NSW Minerals Council.
“The more than 900 submissions lodged in favour of the extension outnumber those against by a margin of 6 to 1,” NSWMC CEO Stephen Galilee said.
“This is a very clear sign of strong local support for the Warkworth mine, the jobs it provides and the economic stability it delivers to the local region.
“Approval for this extension of [Rio Tinto subsidiary] Coal & Allied Warkworth operation will help protect the jobs of 1300 people directly employed at the mine for the next two years, as well as those working in around 1000 supplier busineses.”
This isn’t the first time local surveys have provided support for the operation’s expansion.
A ReachTel survey of 514 residents across Muswellbrook and Singleton found support levels of 78 per cent, compared to an opposition of 11 per cent of those surveyed.
Nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed believed mining was important to their region’s economic future, compared to only six per cent who thought mining was not important.
The miner has seen a number of hurdles tothe expansion of its coal mine, which Rio Tinto says is necessary for the continued viability of the mine.
Earlier this month it launched an application to access land around its current operations, in the wake of the new environmental approvals process, and has been fighting it expand mining at the site since its ministerial approvals were overturned in April this year.