Community members can comment on a proposal to continue operations at one of the Hunter’s longest-running mines, with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on public exhibition.
Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) is proposing to continue mining at its HVO South mine until 2045 and its HVO North mine until 2050.
HVO General Manager Dave Foster said continuing mining will support around 1500 ongoing jobs as well as an additional 600 jobs during construction.
“This is not a new mine – this is a continuation of operations that have been ongoing for the last 70 years,” Dave said.
“We are not seeking to increase our currently approved production rates.
‘We’re proud of the contribution we make every year supporting local businesses, delivering royalties to support public infrastructure and services, as well as providing community grants and other charity support. In 2021, for example, HVO’s direct economic contribution was $862 million. This included our spend of $537 million on goods and services from 740 businesses, many of which are based in the Hunter.
“Our plan is largely to recover more coal from previously mined or currently approved areas. While some new areas at HVO North will be mined, some areas previously approved for mining at HVO South will not be developed.
“We will continue to implement industry-leading initiatives in managing air quality, noise and water resources and progressive rehabilitation of mined land.
“HVO – and this continuation Project – will be subject to the Federal Government’s Safeguard Mechanism. It will have a declining emissions baseline and will need to comply with other elements of the proposed Safeguard Mechanism reforms which form part of the Government’s measures to achieve the national emission reduction target of 43% by 2030.”
The proposal also includes plans to realign Lemington Road with a new bridge over the Hunter River to replace the flood prone Moses Crossing.
“We plan to spend $80 million on the Lemington Road realignment and new bridge, which will address a long-running issue for local road users.
“Moses Crossing has been underwater for a combined total of more than 11 months since 2010, the majority of that in the last two years. The proposed new bridge would have kept Lemington Road clear of flooding over that period.”
Dave said the local community had provided valuable feedback during the scoping and design of the Project.
“We’re continuing to consult with neighbouring residents on specific measures to further minimise impacts,” he said.
He encouraged everyone in the community who are supportive of the Project to make a submission on the EIS.
|The EIS is on exhibition until February 24 and is available from the Department of Planning and Environment’s website. www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au HVO has produced a project summary and other information about the proposal. This information and links for people wishing to make a submission are on the HVO website. www.hvo.com.au/continuation
|HVO will hold information sessions at Jerrys Plains School of the Arts Hall from 4pm to 7pm on February 13 and at 880 Maison Dieu Road from 8am to 10am on February 18.