Australian state commission approves extension of Glencore’s Mangoola coal mine

Mangoola coal preparation plant. Credit: Ausenco

An Australian state planning commission on Monday approved an extension to Glencore Plc’s Mangoola coal mine in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

The commission’s decision comes ahead of a byelection on May 22 for the Upper Hunter seat in the New South Wales state parliament, in which the future of coal mining in the region is likely to be a key issue.

The project has been opposed due to concerns about air quality, biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, impacts on water resources and Aboriginal cultural heritage, among others.

“The Commission finds that on balance and when weighed against the impacts under the current policy and regulatory framework, the project would generate net positive social and economic benefits for the local area, Hunter region and to NSW,” the Commission said in a statement.

An additional 52-million tonnes of run-of-mine coal would be extracted over the course of eight years, with operations to cease at the site in December 2030, it added.

Expansion at an Australian lead and zinc mine run by the miner has also come under scrutiny for putting at risk several sacred Aboriginal sites.

In a separate statement, Glencore said the development consent for the mine will provide ongoing employment for its workforce of around 400 people, adding that it is looking forward to a “timely execution” of federal and local council approvals.

(By Shruti Sonal and Sonali Paul; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


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