Yancoal Australia has secured a mining lease for its Moolarben coal mine stage two project from the New South Wales Department of Industry Resources and Energy in Australia.
The lease covers all land within the 3,741ha of four mining lease applications lodged on 1 May 2008, 20 March 2009, 21 April 2009 and 13 August 2013.
Yancoal said that the company is optimistic as the mining lease serves a positive next-step in the approvals process, with it now waiting for approval of a mining operations plan.
The Moolarben Coal Complex (stage 1 and stage 2 combined) is expected to produce up to 17 million tonnes of run-of-mine (ROM) coal per annum for 24 years once fully developed.
In addition, the life of the operation will be extended and create up to 120 new full-time jobs.
According to Yancoal, the company will be able to develop two underground mining areas following approval.
An additional new open-cut pit will also be developed to the east of the Moolarben operation's approved open-cut coal mines.
At present, the Moolarben coal operation employs more than 300 full-time workers and produced 6.4 million tonnes of saleable coal in 2014, which represents a 1% increase on the previous year.
The operation also produces thermal and coking coal.
Moolarben Coal operates the Moolarben Coal Complex on behalf of the joint venture partners, which include Yancoal Australia (81%), a consortium of Korean companies represented by Kores Australia Moolarben Coal (9%), and Sojitz Moolarben Resources (10%).