Whitehaven Coal has welcomed the release of the New South Wales (NSW) government’s (Australia) comprehensive technical assessment for the Vickery Extension Project and its key recommendation that the Project can proceed.
The report will be now be considered by the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) which will hold a further Public Hearing regarding the project in the coming weeks. Consistent with the Statement of Expectations released by NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes last week, the IPC must make a final determination on the project within 12 weeks.
Whitehaven Coal Managing Director and CEO Paul Flynn said he welcomed the release of the Report and looked forward to the next round of public hearings and consultation.
A first round of Public Hearings into the Project was held in early 2019, and attracted significant interest within the region. The Department of Planning and the IPC also sought and received written submissions as part of the initial EIS and first stage Public Hearing processes respectively.
“We know there is strong support for Vickery from the comprehensive community consultation process that has already been undertaken – 60% of public submissions to the Department of Planning and 75% to the IPC called for the Project to be approved.”
“Vickery has the potential to be one of the most significant sources of employment and investment in North West NSW in the coming years and major infrastructure projects have a key role to play in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, including for regional Australia.”
The Vickery Extension Project proposes the construction of a new opencast coal mine and associated on-site infrastructure about 25 km north of Gunnedah in North West NSW. The mine will produce predominantly metallurgical coal for steel-making, with the balance being high quality thermal coal destined for export to countries that combine low impurity and low ash coal with high technology HELE generation to significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Importantly, the proposal builds upon, and further optimises, an already-approved mine, on a site that has already been extensively and safely mined over many years.
Vickery is estimated to generate around 500 construction jobs and 450 operational jobs, growing Whitehaven’s existing 2400-strong workforce, around 75% of whom live locally. As outlined in the comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement, Vickery is set to contribute US$271 million in wages that will flow through the local economy, and generate around 170 new jobs in locally-based supplier businesses.
The project will contribute a net economic benefit to NSW of US$1.2 billion, including US$656 million in royalty payments to the NSW Government – money that will help fund schools, hospitals, roads and other state government priorities.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/22052020/new-south-wales-government-says-vickery-extension-project-can-proceed/