Delta SBD Medway contract in doubt

UNDERGROUND contractor Delta SBD’s longstanding whole of mine contract with Boral’s Medway colliery is in doubt after New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission approval for the mine to continue to operate was overturned in the Land & Environment Court.
Delta SBD Medway contract in doubt Delta SBD Medway contract in doubt Delta SBD Medway contract in doubt Delta SBD Medway contract in doubt Delta SBD Medway contract in doubt

Berrima Colliery image courtesy of EMGA Mitchell McLennan.

Lou Caruana

Boral is continuing operations at its 200,000 tonnes per annum Berrima (Medway) Colliery while assessing its response to last week’s NSW Land and Environment Court decision.

The bad news from Berrima comes as Delta SBD learned from Whitehaven Coal that its development contract at the Narrabri would be terminated early.

Berrima (Medway) Colliery and Cement Works operations manager Stuart Hutchings said: “We have reassured our employees and contractors at the colliery and the cement works that we can, and will continue colliery operations based on our existing 2009 Subsidence Management Plan Approval, our current Environmental Protection Licence and Continuing Use Rights under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

“We are therefore not expecting disruption to the current supply of coal to the Cement Works.”

Delta DSB has been conducting the mining for Boral since 2009.

Following the decision, Delta SBD took legal advice in respect of its operations at the mine and said normal operations would continue at Berrima Colliery.

“Delta SBD is working closely with Boral while Boral assesses its future course of action in respect of Berrima Colliery operations,” the company said.

Boral expressed disappointment with the decision handed down by the two commissioners of the Court.

“The quick decision by the two commissioners to uphold the appeal against the Planning and Assessment Commission’s approval was baffling,” Hutchings said.

“The commissioners’ decision overruled the previous approval, granted by the government’s expert panel after a rigorous two-year assessment process that closely scrutinised truck movements and environmental impacts.

“We are actively assessing our options in response to the decision.”

Hutchings said despite the appeal being upheld: “Boral remains committed to continuing the environmental monitoring programs and community consultation forum which formed part of the overturned approval”

Berrima (Medway) Colliery, which started in the 1920s, directly employs 40 people. It is the primary source of energy for the nearby Berrima Cement Works, which in turn directly employs another 130 people.