Xstrata coal mine expansion plans goes on public display

Plans to expand the Mangoola coal mine in the Hunter Valley are now open for public exhibition.

Ramping up production at Xstrata’s Mangoola coal mine by almost 30 per cent to 13.5 million tonnes of coal a year will create an estimated 150 new jobs.

As Australian Mining reported early this year, the company said they are seeking permission to expand the mine located between Denman and Muswellbrook which will take total employment at the facility from 300 to 450 people.

In its application to the NSW Department of Planning, the coal miner has requested approval to lift run-of-mine production from 10.5 million tonnes to 13.5million tonnes per annum.

Xstrata announced in a local newsletter that it is seeking increased ‘‘flexibility’’ in its blasting frequencies but will not seek to modify blasting limits in the community.

However local groups say they are opposed to the expansion.

Hunter Communities Network spokeswoman Bev Smiles said the Mangoola application was ‘‘part of a pattern’’ in which mining companies attempt to loosen original approval conditions once a mine is up and running.

The public has until the end of next month to comment.

Image: abc.com.au

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