The Rio Tinto NSW Warkworth mine expansion project was rejected 12 months ago by the NSW Land and Environment Court.
However, the stoic mining company will continue its fight by submitting two new development applications for the same mine site.
NSW mining jobs for the next 30 years hinge on the success of this new development application application. Coal & Allied fall under the banner of Rio Tinto and the mine expansion program has got the local communities up in arms – again.
Rio Tinto fights for NSW mining jobs
Rio Tinto are submitting two separate planning applications, one being for the Warkworth Mine and the other for Mount Thorley. Mining operations are to take place on the existing land it already owns within the footprint of existing mining leases.
The Environment Impact Statements are expected to be released next month.
The two applications will create an integrated mining operation which the mining company says will extend the mine life for at least another 30 years. The present planning approval expires in 2015 and will only allow Mount Thorley Warkworth to keep production going until this time.
The fate of many NSW mining jobs in the Hunter Valley region is dependent on this outcome.
Long-term NSW mining jobs for 1300 workers
NSW mining jobs will be the biggest spin-off if the development application is successful in the courts. Rio Tinto has made it clear an outcome that favours ongoing expansion will pave the way forward for long-term mining jobs for the 1300 employees and contractors who work at the site.
“a strong future for everyone”
Rio Tinto has made it quite clear that the future for Mount Thorley Warkworth will also mean a strong future for everyone who benefits from the existence of the mine.
This includes employees and contractors as well as the many hundreds of other local businesses that directly service the mine.
“1800 hectares of land towards a National Park”
Rio Tinto has agreed to provide over 1800 hectares of land towards a National Park, namely Goulburn River National Park near Merriwa as part of the new application.
The land to be flagged as National Park is owned by Rio and forms part of their bio diversity offset program.
Once again, mining controversy surrounds future mining development as the Supreme Court appeal outcome decides the fate of NSW mining jobs.