Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government is set to ban open-cut mining at the Drayton South site in the Upper Hunter Valley in an attempt to safeguard the horse studs in the area.
In this regard, the government is planning to amend state mining and planning policies in order to enforce the open-cut mining prohibition on the Drayton South exploration licence.
The project is based on recommendations by the independent Planning Assessment Commission.
NSW planning and housing minister Anthony Roberts said: “The commission has twice refused open-cut mining applications on the Drayton South exploration licence area and determined that open-cut mining is incompatible with the unique combination of existing land uses in the area.
“The NSW government has now taken action to address this incompatibility by proposing that applications for open-cut mining cannot be made over the Drayton South exploration licence.”
Meanwhile, the government has renewed the EL 5460 exploration licence to permit underground mining only at Drayton South.
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Welcoming the government’s decision, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal business CEO David Diamond said: “The underground mining proposal developed by Anglo American delivered a coexistence solution to reduce impacts and disruptions to the community and allows the region to continue to develop and flourish, which the Hunter Valley region has for generations.”
In April, Anglo American signed an agreement to offload an 88.17% interest in Drayton, including Drayton thermal coal and Drayton South projects, to Malabar Coal.