The approval will allow mining activities previously approved in 2011 to continue for another five years, and will create up to 110 jobs for Illawarra miners and generate up to $19 million in royalties to the NSW Government, according to Wollongong Coal operations manager Rhys Brett.
“Wongawilli Colliery is an important asset for the company and a key part of our long-term strategy for extracting and exporting high-quality coking coal for the production of steel and generating local employment opportunities,” he said.
“We are excited that the PAC's approval will allow mining and miners to return to Wongawilli, after operations were placed on care and maintenance in 2014.
"We will now begin preliminary planning and discussions with key stakeholders in the expectation that operations at Wongawilli will recommence in early 2016.”
Wollongong Coal has contracted Delta SBD to oversee and manage the recommencement of operations at Wongawilli. Under the arrangement, Delta SBD will provide technical expertise, personnel and equipment services at the mine as well as manage day to day operations.
The arrangements with Delta SBD are for an interim period of two years as Wollongong Coal focuses on future approvals and longer-term management and workplace arrangements at Wongawilli, Brett said.
Similar arrangements exist at numerous resource sector operations and will allow Wollongong Coal to benefit from Delta SBD's expertise.