Wallarah 2 coal mine to move 10,000 tonnes a week

The billion dollar Wallarah 2 Coal project plans to transport around 10, 000 tonnes of coal a week from Wyee to Newcastle along the main rail line.

A report from the mine’s proponent Kores to the NSW Department of Planning said the coal would be moved on up to six return trips a day, six days a week.

However Wallarah 2 project manager Kenny Barry said four to five return train trips a day would be average, Newcastle Herald reported.

Barry said trains heading to port would carry almost 4000tonnes of coal in 38 wagons.

‘There’s been a lot of talk about dust related to coal trains and whether wagons should be covered,’’ he said.

‘‘If that ever becomes a requirement, we would abide by that.’’

Community lobby group The Australian Coal Alliance said the plan would affect people living in Morisset, Wyee and Cardiff.

‘‘You’ll have coal trains rumbling up there for the next 30 years, with all the dust and noise problems that creates,’’ alliance spokesman Mike Campbell said.

The plan would extend gate closures at level crossings in Adamstown and Islington.

The report stated that it would add 56 minutes of closures a day at each crossing but that the majority of trips would occur in the evening in early morning to avoid peak hour traffic.

The St James Road crossing would be closed for 488minutes a day while the Clyde Street crossing would be closed for 519minutes a day.

NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said managing road delays should be essential part of the mines planning process.

 ‘‘If the mine does go ahead, we would expect arrangements to be made to ensure there isn’t undue inconvenience for Hunter residents.’’

Campbell said he was worried the Coalition was preparing to support the mine, but Hartcher said the mine will not go ahead unless the water catchment is fully protected.

The Wallarah 2 Coal project is a contentious underground mine located in the Wyong area.

For a number of years the mine, and its Korean backers KoRes, have seen serious opposition to the proposed project.

The mine first sought approvals from the state government in 2011 but was rejected due to a number of 'unresolved concerns' regarding its impact on the water catchment, subsidence, and ecological impacts.

In opposition, Premier Barry O’Farrell guaranteed that no such mine would be considered.

Coal Alliance spokesman, Allan Hayes recently called on the Premier to stand by his promise.

"Or an actual prima facie case exists for action under those promises," Hayes said.

However, O’Farrell played down the issues.

"So what we said is we wouldn't allow water catchments to be threatened and we don't intend to have any water catchments threatened," he told a community meeting earlier this year.

Speaking to Australian Mining last year, Wallarah's general manager Kerry Heywood said that concerns over its impact on water were misplaced.

"Public concern has been on our effect on the water catchment, but the project and planning commission said in its report that there will be a minimal impact to the region's water, but opponents to the mine keep saying it will have a devastating impact.

"This isn't the case – we don't operate under water, our operations are only under a very small area of the catchment and won't have a serious impact on the water supply.”

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