AUSTRALIAN Pacific Coal, the owners of the underground Dartbrook coal mine, located approximately four kilometres west of Aberdeen, are considering challenging a decision made by the Independent Planning Commission not to grant a licence extension for the mine.
In August, the Independent Planning Commission approved modifications to restart the mine using bord-and-pillar methods instead of longwall mining and make changes to their coal delivery and handling, but refused to extend the mining licence for five years.
The Company has until November 8 to lodge an appeal with the NSW Land and Environment Court.
See related stories below.
- 2006: Anglo American coal placed the underground mine into care and maintenance mode. Reasons for the shut-down in operations: Dartbrook Mine.
- 2015: On Christmas eve Anglo American announced it was selling its interests in Dartbrook underground coal mine to Australian Pacific Coal for $50 million.
- 2016: Australian Pacific Coal stated it intended to convert the mine to an open cut operation producing 5 million tonnes of coal per year and employing 205 full time local jobs.
- February: Nathan Tinkler, managing director and chief executive officer of Australian Pacific Coal, resigned from the Company in February 2016 due to bankruptcy proceedings. Read: Tinkler Resigns.
- 2017: In May ACP finalised its acquisition of Dartbrook from Anglo American.
- 2018: APC released a study which confirmed the technical and financial viability of the mine to become an open cut operation. Read: the Study.
- February: ACP lodged submission to make modifications to the underground operation.
- 2019: January – NSW Department of Primary Industries made the recommendation for approval.
- April: Planning Assessment Commission to hear from the community on the recommendation.
- August: The Independent Planning Commissions gave approval for the mine to recommence operations using bord-and-pillar mining, instead of longwalling and make modifications to their coal handling, but refused to give a five year extension to their mining approval, which ends on December 5, 2022.
Overview of the Mine:
- The mine leases and permits cover 3,800 hectares, which includes 3,400 hectares of free hold land incorporating the potential open cut mining area.
- The majority of the current mining operation is within the Muswellbrook Shire area, but the total mining lease area also lies within the Upper Hunter Shire area. See map below.
- APC estimates the coal resource at the mine is 1.2 billion tonnes based on coal to depths of 350 metres being accessible to open cut mining in lease 1497. Read: Dartbrook Estimates 1.2 billion Tonnes.
- Coal quality data indicates the thermal coal at Dartbrook has the potential to produce an 8 percent ash (air dried basis), has a high calorific value of 6,200-6,300 kcal/kg gross as-received and low sulphur content. Read: Newcastle Coal Data.
- Dartbrook Decision May Be Challenged – September 19, 2019.
- Dartbrook: Council Questions Time Constraint – August 13, 2019.
- Dartbrook Mine Approved to Reopen – August 9, 2019;
- PAC Assessing Dartbrook – April 8, 2019;
- Last Chance for Dartbrook Submissions – April 8, 2019;
- Next Steps in Dartbrook Acquisition – October 10, 2016;
- Final Steps of Dartbrook Acquisition – June 8, 2016;
- Dartbrook Estimates $1.2 Billion Tonnes – May 25, 2016;
- Preparing to Operate Dartbrook – April 6, 2016;
- Dartbook Development – February 3, 2016;
- Dartbrook Mine – Jan 11, 2016.