Charbon extension awaiting approval

CENTENNIAL Coal is seeking federal environmental approval to broaden the continuous miner and open cut operations of its Charbon colliery in New South Wales.

Blair Price

The project to continue operations aims to develop the Western underground area and start surface mining of the Southern open cut extension, Southern and Western outliers, 8 Trunk Central and the Western open cut.

The Western underground will cover about 81 hectares while the new open cuts will take up 87ha with more than half the land already cleared.

Centennial will use a first workings mining method to minimise subsidence to less than 20mm in the Western underground area.

Production after the proposed developments is expected to reach up to 1.3 million tonnes of raw coal per annum, a little higher than the forecast of 1.2Mtpa for the current financial year.

Overall the expansion work will extend open cut mining to beyond June 2010 and underground mining past 2013.

The project is also under the NSW government’s approval process, with Centennial expecting approval this month.

The federal application was made to meet the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Only a minor impact is expected on the large-eared pied bat while efforts will be made to conserve endangered woodlands and native grassland areas.

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