Peabody unveils Wilpinjong extension project

PEABODY Energy is seeking federal environmental clearance to extend the mine life of its giant Wilpinjong thermal coal mine in New South Wales by seven years.
Peabody unveils Wilpinjong extension project Peabody unveils Wilpinjong extension project Peabody unveils Wilpinjong extension project Peabody unveils Wilpinjong extension project Peabody unveils Wilpinjong extension project

Wilpinjong image courtesy of Peabody.

Blair Price

Detailed in its application to federal government, Peabody aims to extend mining into two of the mine’s nearby exploration licences (EL6169 and EL7091).

There are no private residences in the extension project’s targeted 800ha, which includes 500ha to extend existing pits further into mining licence 1573 and EL6169 plus 300ha for a new open cut pit in EL7091.

Peabody also conveniently owns all the freehold land in ML1573 and EL7091 and the “vast majority” of it in EL6169.

There are no plans to expand the production rate, with the mine’s capacity already approved to 13 million tonnes per annum of saleable thermal coal, but the proposal aims to extend the mine life by seven years to 2033.

While a lot of the project work will involve relocating infrastructure, Peabody aims to build two additional mine access roads plus start backfilling some open cut final voids based on its planning revisions.

Peabody said the new extension areas represent an additional 96 million tonnes of run of mine coal and boast shallow coal seams with “relatively low strip ratios”.

In regards to timeframes, Peabody said it would like to start construction and operational activities of the project “as soon as practicable” once all the necessary approvals, licences and consents were received.

“A request for the secretary’s environmental assessment requirements comprising a project summary and preliminary environmental assessment has been lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment as the first step in obtaining state planning approval for the Wilpinjong extension project,” the miner said.

“This will be followed by a more detailed environmental impact statement and supporting studies.”

The federal application was made to meet the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

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