NSW Planning Assessment Commission
approve Rio Tinto Mt Thorley Warkworth mine - mining jobs for 1200 workers
The long fought-out battle between conservation groups and the Rio Tinto Mt Thorley Warkworth coal mine extension plans is finally over. The project has been given the go ahead at State level.
The mine extension is something of a huge win for Rio Tinto after a long and drawn our battle for the coal mine expansion approval.
Initial approvals for the mine extension were lodged way back in 2012 and Rio Tinto were granted permission to go ahead. However, this decision was overturned by the NSW Land and Environment Court in 2013, after a legal challenge from the Bulga-Milbrodale Progress Association
The findings of the court detailed that the project would create diverse biological issues, generate and noise, dust, and would have social impacts on the nearby town of Bulga.
The NSW Supreme Court then ruled that Rio Tinto could not proceed with an expansion in April 2014.
Refusing to give up, Rio submitted two more development applications for Mt Thorley Warkworth to the NSW planning department.
1200 mining jobs for local NSW mine workers
It’s been well documented that the economic benefits of the mine would outweigh environmental impacts, with mining jobs for 1200 workers, $567 million in government royalties and an injection of $1.34 billion into the NSW economy. It’s also been mentioned that the coal mine could contribute about $11 million to the local region, with $5 million to $6 million being allocated for construction of water and sewerage treatment plants for Bulga.
A win for miners – CFMEU
The local CFMEU welcomed the Rio Tinto Mt Thorley Warkworth mine expansion approvals, saying it was a huge win for miners in the region.
“It provides the confidence back into the industry that the mining industry is still here, coal’s still here,” CFMEU northern district president Peter Jordan told the ABC.
“Jobs can be secure, and it gives that confidence and economic boost to the coal industry in general.”
Green groups slam mine approval
The Rio Tinto Mt Thorley Warkworth mine expansion approvals have been slammed by the Greens and local conservation groups, saying the Baird Government was negligent to allow the coal industry to expand in the face of climate change.
“While Mike Baird clowns around on social media, his government has approved a massive coal mine expansion in the face of climate change,” a spokesperson said.