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Court upholds Springvale mining consent

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World Coal,

The New South Wales (NSW) Land and Environment Court (LEC) has confirmed the validity of the mining consent for Centennial Coal’s Springvale extension project, rejecting a challenge by environmental group, 4Nature.

4Nature had filed for a judicial review of the consent in the LEC in December 2015, arguing that the NSW Planning Assessment Commission had not complied with relevant regulations related to the protection of water quality in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment.

The LEC rejected 4Nature’s challenge to the grating of the mining consent, allowing the Springvale mine to continue to operate.

“At the time of granting the requested, the PAC imposed rigorous performance measures for discharge water, which were regarded as appropriate by the EPA and NSW Department of Planning,” said Centennial Coal spokesperson, Katie Brassil in a written statement.

“We have always maintained that well issues were appropriately addressed during the most extensive of assessment processes and today’s decision secured the livelihoods of our local community, while we also continue to supply the state’s electricity needs.”

The Springvale underground coal mine supplies 4.5 million tpy of coal to the Mt Piper power plant and export markets via Port Kembla. The mine’s original consent expired in 2015; the extension consent allowed the company to continue mining operations beyond this date.

In response to the ruling, 4Nature’s President Andrew Cox said the group was “shocked”, calling it a “failure of NSW’s planning laws to protect our precious drinking water”.

Cox also called on NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes in intervene to “require polluted water from the mine to be treated and cleaned” before being released. Cox did not rule out the possibility of a further appeal, saying the group would “closely review the judgment” before making a decision.

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