YESTERDAY, Malabar Coal’s environmental impact statement to develop an underground coal mine, on the licence previously operated as Drayton South, went put on public display.
The proposed underground coal mine, known as the Maxwell Project, is proposed to employ 350 people.
Wayne Seabrook, chairman of Malabar Coal, an Australian-owned and New South Wales based company said the project was designed with community feedback.
“A top priority for the community is to ensure that the region has a vibrant and diverse economy that supports many different sectors,” said Mr Seabrook.
“With that in mind, the Maxwell Project has been carefully designed to ensure that the community can enjoy the significant economic boost this project will create, without negatively impacting other local industries and land uses,” he said.
“We encourage all community members to take a close look at the EIS and to provide their feedback,” Wayne Seabrook said.
The Company has said key considerations for the new mine include:
- the mine can only ever be underground;
- support for a State Environmental Planning Policy to reinforce underground only;
- placed the entrance to the mine 5km north of the Golden Highway behind a ridge line so it is not visible from the Highway or local horse studs;
- access vai Thomas Mitchell Drive to reduce impact on local rural and tourist road networks, and
- will only mine below freehold land owned by the Company and has relinquished the exploration licence beneath and south of the Golden Highway.
The Company has stated the project will:
- directly employ 350 people, plus create many more indirect jobs;
- contribute $55 million in wages to the local economy;
- provide $1-1.25 billion to the NSW Government and local Council through royalties, taxes and Council rates;
- create $500 million to $700 million annually in export income for NSW.
The Environmental Impact Statement can be found on the Planning NSW portal.
The Upper Hunter Shire Council made submissions opposing Drayton South and were contacted in relation to their position on the Maxwell Project, but did not respond before publishing.