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Department decision on Boggabri Coal Mine modification application

Published by , Digital Assistant Editor
World Coal,

The Department of Planning and Environment has approved a modification application from Idemitsu to construct and operate a borefield and increase coal processing at the Boggabri Coal Mine in North West NSW, with strict conditions addressing issues raised during consultation.

The proposal involves:

  • Constructing and operating a borefield including two main production bores and four back-up bores.
  • Installing supporting infrastructure, such as powerlines, access roads, pipelines, and water storage tanks.
  • Increasing the amount of coal processed annually at the mine’s Coal Handling Preparation Plant to 4.2 million tpy.

“The key issue raised during consultation was water and how nearby landowners would be affected,” a spokesperson said. “Importantly, the proposed water extraction from the borefield would be regulated by the Department of Primary Industries – Water (DPI Water) under the relevant Water Sharing Plan and requirements of the Water Management Act. These regulations apply equally to all water users in the region, and include strict controls and rules about how much water can be taken to minimise impacts on nearby landowners and the environment. An independent water expert was also engaged by the Department to peer review predicted water-use and management, finding there were opportunities for improving efficiency on-site.”

“The Department accepted the findings of the independent review and imposed conditions to strengthen monitoring, review and reporting requirements for water management on-site. In addition to the requirement to obtain all relevant water licences for the borefield from DPI Water, the Department also imposed conditions that require Idemitsu to secure 106 ha. of additional biodiversity offsets for the disturbance associated with the proposal. The proposal will improve water security for mining operations and assist in meeting air quality and dust suppression obligations, which have been strengthened since the mine’s original approval. The proposal does not involve any increase in the total amount of coal mined or exported from the site, but will allow a greater proportion of the coal to be washed at the processing plant to meet market specifications.”

“The Department has undertaken a detailed assessment of the proposal and closely considered all community submissions and Government agency feedback. The modification application was publicly exhibited for community feedback during December 2015. The Department received 15 submissions during the consultation period, including four from Government agencies, three from special interest groups, and eight from the public. There were 11 objections. The site will be subject to on-going audits and site inspections by the Department’s compliance officers to ensure the company is adhering to its approval conditions.”

Edited from press release by

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