Anglo American tries again: submits plan to expand coal mine in Australia
After two failed attempts to obtain permission to expand its Drayton South coal mine in Australia’s Hunter Valley, Anglo American (LON:AAL) has submitted a revised proposal for the project aimed to replace the current mine.
The new plan will see the company mine 75 million tonnes over 17 years instead of 97 million tonnes over 20 years, as it had originally proposed.
According to Anglo, the Drayton South mine is essential to protect 500 jobs at the existing mine, in operation for more than 30 years, which is due to run out of coal in 2017.
Locals, particularly horse breeders and wineries owners, argue the project may have major consequences for both the regional economy and the environment in the same way Rio Tinto’s Bengalla mine is said to have ruined the wine industry in the 1990s.
Official figures show that more than 4,000 jobs have been lost at NSW mining operations over the last two years, with over 2,500 coal jobs gone in the Hunter alone.
The area has become a centre of tensions as of late with the community widely divided up on the several coal mines and other projects planned in the valley.