Councillors fight West Wallsend modification

GLENCORE is reportedly facing stiff resistance from Lake Macquarie councillors over its plans to add two longwall panels to the mining plan of its West Wallsend operation.

Blair Price

According to the Newcastle Herald, council staff believed the expansion would damage council land which was earmarked for conservation and it voted to send these concerns to the New South Wales Planning Department.

Councillor Laurie Coghlan reportedly said Glencore never guaranteed “there would be no risk” while councillor Barney Langford said there was “never any question of caving in”

Glencore has reportedly urged the council to reconsider, with 250 jobs and $200 million of annual spending at stake.

In 2012 the West Wallsend colliery received NSW government approval to continue mining up until the end of 2021 for production of no more than 5.5 million tonnes per annum, run of mine.

Glencore’s proposed modification will allow it to extract an additional 2.55Mt ROM with the two new panels running under the Sugarloaf State Conservation Area

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has reportedly said these plans involved “the highest” subsidence prediction it had reviewed.