South32 tweaks mine extension to please the people


South32 has released its new Dendrobium mine extension plan, following it being declared State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) earlier this week.

The scoping study for the Illawarra metallurgical coal (IMC) mine will focus on reducing the overall footprint thereby reducing potential impacts on the metropolitan area.

The redesign of the plan proposes a reduction of the longwall coal mining area by 60 per cent from the previous design and will also reduce the surface water losses by approximately 60 per cent.

It will also use existing infrastructure, such as the Dendrobium Pit Top and the Kemira Valley coal loading facility to minimise disturbance of the area.

The scoping study proposes that it will reduce the number of previously identified Aboriginal heritage sites that it has directly mined under from 22 to six sites and has committed to no longwall mining beneath any previously identified high archaeological significance Aboriginal heritage sites.

The Dendrobium mine supports an existing workforce of 650 personnel and provides socio-economic benefits at national, state and local levels.

It delivers product coal from the Dendrobium coal preparation plant to Port Kembla steelworks for domestic use and to the Port Kembla coal terminal for transport to Liberty Primary Steel Whyalla steelworks or export.

The mine extension project proposes to extend the mine life at the Dendrobium Mine to 31 December 2041 through underground mining operations until approximately 2035, as well as the use of the existing Dendrobium mine surface facilities to 2041 to allow receipt of coal mined.

The Dendrobium mine contributes $1.9 billion to the state’s economy each year, it employs 4500 workers and supports another 10,000 jobs across the Illawarra.

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