The Glendell Continued Operations (GCO) Project has been recommended for approval and referred to the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) for final assessment and determination. Following more than two years of assessment by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) involving extensive consultation with government agencies, Singleton Council and members of the community, the last hurdle is ready to be cleared.
Without the GCO Project, mining at Glendell is estimated to be completed in approximately 2023, which means employment opportunities will be lost and the community will miss out on enormous future economic benefits.
If approved the project will see continuation of open cut mining to the north of the existing mine over a period of 21 years realising an additional 135 Mt of coal.
This will be a great outcome for the local workers, communities, and the hardworking supplier businesses in our area.
Over its life, the project will provide employment opportunities of, up to 690 jobs. It will also see the creation of up to approximately 350 construction jobs (peak) over the estimated 3-year construction period
The net financial benefits in Net Present Value (NPV) terms over the life of the project are significant: $446.7 million to the Lower Hunter region, $1.12 billion to NSW, and royalty revenue to the NSW Government estimated to be $282.4 million.
In 2020, Glendell spent over $39 million on wages and salaries and over $120 million on goods and services with 380 suppliers. That’s money that goes predominately straight back into the community. Money the community simply can’t afford to lose.
Glencore’s Glendell employees are part of the Hunter Valley community.
72% of the existing Glendell workforce live within the Local Government Areas of Singleton (32%), Maitland (21%), Cessnock (14%) and Muswellbrook (5%). These are people who work here, live here, raise their families here, and all contribute to making our region a place to be proud of.
For regular readers of @ The Coalface, you will often come across stories about the community support that Glendell mine and its workforce are regularly involved in. But you might not realise just how substantial it is with over $200,000 of funding and grants to various local community-based initiatives and groups.
Glendell is an operation that uses industry-leading rehabilitation practice to ensure they will meet their final land use outcome. Just last year at the 2021 NSW DPIE RR Rehab Forum, the Mt Owen/Glendell Operation (MGO) was presented as a case study to 400 plus delegates in attendance for their exemplary work in rehabilitation. Their commitment to responsible mining is amongst the best in the world.
There has also been some contention around the proposed relocation of Ravensworth Homestead as readers would know. The Homestead must be relocated to allow the GCO Project to go ahead as it sits squarely within the mine plan.
The Homestead was acquired by Glencore in 1997 and since then, Glencore has undertaken extensive repair and restoration works, recognising the historical importance of the Homestead. Working with an advisory committee, the Homestead relocation is planned to preserve its heritage value while enabling public access to these historical buildings. A bright future for the Homestead is of the highest priority and all involved fully understand its importance. That future will be meticulously preserved and should be for future generations.
Glencore put forward two proposals for the Homestead’s relocation – one at Ravensworth Farm, the other in Broke. Of these, the DPIE believes the Ravensworth Farm option should be the preferred relocation option.
Chris Gerard is the Operations Manager at Glendell and says the Glendell team have been working towards ensuring that the GCO Project is approved.
“Over the last four years, we’ve been working on a project to continue mining to the north of our existing operations. This means further employment opportunities, and continued support for more than 300 local businesses across the region.”
“We’re proud of what we do and the contribution we make to the Hunter Valley and hope our Mount Owen and Glendell operations continue to play a role within the local community.”
If you feel strongly about the benefits of the GCO Project, the environmental assessment undertaken, or Glendell’s existing contribution to the local community and wish to show your support, you can make a submission to the IPC or speak at the upcoming Public Hearing outlining your views.
The IPC is required to consider all submissions made as part of the assessment of mining projects, so your views and opinions really do matter. I’m pretty sure you can guess what our submission will say. Approval for the GCO Project is a no-brainer.
|The IPC hearing will be held online over two days on Friday March 18 and Monday March 21. |
Submissions can be made online by using the form on the IPC website at https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/haveyoursay. Deadlines for submissions closes at 5pm on Monday March 28.