Peabody’s plans to modify the construction and operation of the Montrose water storage area and associated supporting infrastructure at Wambo have been lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and its director general has issued recommendations.
“The modification is required to ensure adequate water storage is available at Wambo while the existing South Wambo Dam (approximately 840 million litres capacity) is subsided by the approved North Wambo underground mine (Longwall 8),” the company said.
“Water stored in the South Wambo Dam will be transferred to other water storages at Wambo (for example, the proposed Montrose Water Storage) prior to the South Wambo Dam being subsided.”
The mine is proposing to replace a network of permanent and temporary structures including up-catchment diversions, water storage dams, sediment dams, and the North Wambo Creek diversion and its plans will be open for public inspection.
The new Montrose water storage arrangement would be a “turkey’s nest” style dam located to the south-west of the approved open cut limit and would have a nominal capacity of approximately 1,500 million litres.
Wambo is an existing open cut and underground coal mining operation situated approximately 15km west of Singleton, near the village of Warkworth
A range of open cut and underground mine operations have been conducted at Wambo since mining operations commenced in 1969.
Mining under Development Consent DA 305-7-2003 commenced in 2004 and currently both open cut and underground operations are conducted.
The approved run-of-mine coal production rate is 14.7 million tonnes per annum and product coal is transported from Wambo by rail.
Development of the North Wambo underground mine commenced in 2005 and production using longwall mining methods commenced in 2007.
During the 2010/2011 financial year approximately 4.7Mt of ROM coal was mined at the North Wambo underground mine.
Underground mining equipment includes continuous miners, longwall mining equipment, electric shuttle cars, load haul dump machines and personnel transporters.
To date mining has not commenced at the approved Whybrow underground mine, Arrowfield underground mine or the Bowfield underground mine.