Charbon approved with strict conditions

CENTENNIAL Coal’s Charbon Colliery near Mudgee in New South Wales has received approval to expand to 5.2 million tonnes of coal from a new underground mine and five new open cut pits, but it must adhere to 81 strict environmental conditions stipulated by the NSW Independent Planning Assessment Commission.
Charbon approved with strict conditions Charbon approved with strict conditions Charbon approved with strict conditions Charbon approved with strict conditions Charbon approved with strict conditions

Charbon continous miner operation in New South Wales uses the super-panel method. Courtesy Centennial Coal

Lou Caruana

The approval involves extracting a total of 1.5Mtpa. Under existing development consents, Charbon Coal is allowed to extract up to 1.3Mtpa which is processed onsite then railed to domestic and export markets.

“The continuation of mining project at Charbon extends the mine life by up to seven years and consolidates a multitude of old consents,” a spokesperson for Centennial told ILN.

“This project secures 138 existing jobs at the pit and of those, 130 local jobs indirectly rely on Charbon's continued operations.”

The conditions imposed on the project include setting noise limits as well as requiring Charbon to reduce mining operations under certain weather conditions (such as when winds blow towards nearby residences); allowing impacted residences to request noise audits, mitigation works and acquisition, if required; and requiring the company to monitor and suppress dust impacts and reduce operations if air quality limits are breached.

Other conditions include Charbon paying appropriate road maintenance fees to the Mid-Western Regional Council linked to the amount of road haulage; Charbon sealing sections of Charbon Road before using it to transport coal to the Kandos cement works and contributing $210,000 to the upgrade of Carwell Creek Bridge within 30 days of the commencement of bridge upgrade works by Council.

Charbon is also required to undertake a safety audit of public roads between the mine and Castlereagh Highway, and to prepare an action plan for implementation of any recommendations.

Coal will be extracted from the Western Underground located beneath Haystack Mountain using the bord and pillar mining method. Coal recovery will be by first workings only.

Run-of-mine coal would be transported from the underground mine to a surface stockpile using haul cars or an underground conveyor. This material would then be stockpiled and transported to the CHPP using haul trucks via a combination of new and existing haul roads.

Alternatively, ROM coal would be transported from the underground operation to the CHPP by overland conveyor.

A box cut area, portals and associated infrastructure would be constructed to permit access to the Western Underground. This may include a small crushing plant to ensure that the size of material from Western Open Cut is suitable for transportation to the CHPP.

Transportation of ROM coal will be by the existing CHPP using the existing underground coal transportation infrastructure, existing and upgraded internal haul roads and/or a proposed conveyor system.

The processing of ROM coal and stockpiling of ROM and product coal will be at the existing CHPP at a rate of up to 1.5Mtpa.