Surface mining off the table at Dartbrook
PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Australian Pacific Coal said on Monday it was in talks with the New South Wales government after a decision was made last week by the government to prohibit future surface mining operations at the Dartbrook Project, as a way of changing the State’s development policy.
“It is clear that the people of Upper Hunter do not oppose the Dartbrook underground mine, however, an open pit mine is not in line with extensive community consultation. By amending the Future of Coal map, we will exclude surface mining, without affecting the proposed underground mine expansion,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. John Barilaro said last week.
Instead, the government will release the Wollar area for potential coal exploration, with interested parties to be invited to apply for an exploration permit.
“The release of the Wollar area follows an assessment under the Competitive Allocation Framework and opens it up to potential exploration activities, to investigate the viability of mining.
“Applicants with the appropriate technical and financial qualifications will be invited to participate in a competitive bidding process, with the winner able to pursue coal exploration in the Wollar allotment area,” Barilaro said.
“Last year I announced the Coal Futures Statement to provide certainty to industry and communities by mapping where coal projects will or will not proceed and these two decisions reflect that commitment. “, Mr. Barilaro said.
“We want to make sure coal mining can take place in areas where it makes sense.
“Coal mining generates jobs for communities and royalties that can be used for essential public services and infrastructure, and regional economies will depend on coal mining as a key industry for decades to come. .
“The support that mining brings to our regions should not be underestimated, it provides career opportunities for young people, brings families to cities and keeps money flowing to support others. companies.”
Australian Pacific Coal said on Monday that the company had requested a moratorium on the decision to bank surface mining at Dartbrook to allow for further scrutiny by the company and its joint venture (JV) partners, but said that at this stage, no response from the government had been received.
The company however stressed that underground mining permission at Dartbrook is akin to plans currently being proposed by Australian Pacific pursuant to its approvals, and will remain the primary focus of the company and its JV partners.
In September, the company reached an agreement with two of its suitors and its creditor and shareholder Trepang Services, which could see the Dartbrook mine returned to service as a coal production asset.
Under the strategic partnership, M Resources and Tetra would each get a joint 20% direct interest in the Dartrbook mine, while Trepang would obtain a 10% direct interest in the joint venture if it agrees to extend the access agreement and existing compensation. with Australian Pacific, as well as the acceptance of various easement agreements and the transfer of water rights on mutually agreeable terms, which would allow underground mining to continue for the duration of the life extension approvals. mining life.