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Chain Valley and Mannering mine modifications approved

The Department of Planning and Environment has approved modifications to the Chain Valley Colliery and Mannering Colliery projects.
LakeCoal sought permission to increase the amount of coal extracted from 1.5 to 2.1 million tonnes per year at Chain Valley and increase the amount of coal transported through Mannering from 1.1 to 1.3 million tonnes per year.
Mannering’s completion date will be extended until 2022 and the extra coal from Chain Valley will be transported to the Vales Point Power Station via the Mannering site. A spokesperson for the Department of Planning and Environment said that the expanded production would create an extra 60 full time jobs at Chain Valley.
The proposals were on exhibition for feedback in July 2015, with eight submissions received from government agencies and one submission from the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council.
The Chain Valley proposal received three public submissions in favour of the modification. Mannering received one public submission for and one against the proposal.
The key concerns raised in submissions related to biodiversity impacts of clearing vegetation to create Asset Protection Zones around mine infrastructure, to reduce the risk of bushfire damage.
Biodiversity offsets must occur within 12 months of this approval and LakeCoal is working in consultation with the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The company is also required to update its biodiversity management plan for Chain Valley and its land management plan for Mannering. Current conditions on the original project will also apply to the modification.
“The site will be subject to on-going audits and site inspections by the Department’s compliance officers to ensure the company is adhering to its consent and approval conditions,” the spokesperson said.