Wambo coal enviro statements released

The joint Glencore and Peabody Energy Wambo open cut coal mine has released its environmental impact statements to the public.

The two miners announced plans to ramp up the United Wambo project in April, despite concerns over Peabody’s US parent company’s collapse.

The Wambo underground mine is not part of the joint venture.

The project itself seeks approval for the extension of the Peabody Wambo open cut put by combining them with existing coal reserves at the nearby United underground coal mine, which is a joint venture between Glencore (at 95 per cent) and the CFMEU (at five per cent), and is currently in care and maintenance mode.

The expansion of Wambo will see it now produce 10 million tonnes per annum of ROM coal over a 23-year mine life, “and has been designed to masimise the use of previously disturbed mining areas and existing infrastructure to minimise the overall, disturbance area as well as impacts,” Glencore said.

Commenting on the release of the EIS, Glencore stated “economic flow-on to local economies will come from an operation supporting a workforce of up to 500 employees, and further 120 construction jobs, and more than 100 local suppliers”.

The miner went on to state that the now public EIS consulted more than 700 stakeholders, including 83 indigenous stakeholders, and 77 residents and landholders.

Within the EIS, the miner stated, “rehabilitation will incorporate a natural landform in keeping with the surrounding area, similar to the work being undertaken at Glencore’s Mangoola open cut mine near Muswellbrook, and will also incorporate productive agricultural land as part of the final landform.”

According to Glencore, this ‘natural landform’ incorporation means it will move away from the ‘mesa’ style rehab shaping, and instead reshaping a former mine to ‘echo the surrounding landscape’.

“In addition, the disturbance of native woodland would be offset through local and regional land-based offsets as well as options for contributions to a NSW Government biodiversity fund.”