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Bengalla mine gains consent until 2038

The future of the Bengalla mine and its 400 employees has been assured following the NSW Government’s approval of a new Development Consent for mining until 2038. Bengalla General Manager Operations Jo-Anne Scarini said “This approval secures a long term future for our mine, which provides work for 400 employees and flow on jobs in the surrounding region.
“We have always planned to continue mining at Bengalla and spoken with the community about this from the very beginning, including in our original Environmental Impact Statement in 1993.
“Our mining operations will continue to move away from Muswellbrook, on land already owned by Bengalla and Coal & Allied.
“This approval comes with comprehensive conditions that have been determined by the Department of Planning and Environment and the Planning Assessment Commission through a rigorous assessment process.
“We are committed to operating our mine responsibly, by working closely with community members and maintaining our high environmental standards.
“Bengalla has been part of the Muswellbrook community for more than 16 years and we look forward to continuing to make a strong contribution over coming decades.
“Last year we spent close to $130 million with more than 350 businesses in NSW and around two thirds of that was spent here in the Hunter Valley.
“We will be continuing the strong partnerships we have developed with local community groups, including the donation of more than $270,000 in 2014.”
The new Development Consent provides the potential to increase employment in the future, if a decision is made to expand production to the maximum approved limit of 15 million Run of Mine (ROM) tonnes a year.
Bengalla is currently completing a ramp up to an annual production rate of 10.7 million ROM tonnes, the limit of its previous Development Consent.
“After expansions to our coal handling and preparation plant over a number of years, we are bringing on extra heavy equipment.”
“This is creating work for around 40 more people to operate and maintain the new fleet. We are focussed on providing opportunities for local people and increasing the proportion of women in the operation.”