The $A900 million Ravensworth Operations project is currently under assessment by the New South Wales state government after additional air modelling work was submitted in July.
The Department of Planning is increasingly interested in the total impact of coal mining within a region.
Xstrata commissioned a report into the cumulative air quality impacts of its Ravensworth project, which also covered air impacts from Yancoal Australia’s Ashton proposal and Vale’s existing Integra operations.
Xstrata Coal chief executive Peter Freyberg told the ABC the Ravensworth North project could be moved forward within the next three to four months.
The Ravensworth Operations project will establish the Ravensworth North pit and extend surface mining for another 29 years, plus expand surface infrastructure for the Ravensworth underground longwall mine.
The multi-seam Ravensworth North pit will mine up to 16 million tonnes per annum of run-of-mine coal using dragline and truck and shovel methods.
Existing mine infrastructure will be upgraded or expanded, while the operation will receive a new ROM coal conveyor system and raw coal stockpile.
Expansion of the coal handling and preparation plant along with the Ravensworth Coal Terminal will enable the processing and export of up to 20Mtpa of product coal.
New access roads will be built, along with new surface infrastructure facilities and a workshop building north of Davis Creek.
As part of the project, Xstrata plans to expand clean water and mine water management systems, including the development of a new storage dam.
The company will also realign the existing 330-kilovolt transmission line.
Xstrata’s major revision to its earlier conceptual plans was to revise the proposed mining and overburden emplacement areas to avoid disturbing Davis Creek, deemed a significant breeding habitat for the green and golden bell frog.