$1.2 billion Shenhua Watermark open-cut coal mine goes ahead after state government approval
Mining jobs in New South Wales to soar
The huge Shenhua Watermark Coal project in north-west New South Wales has been given the green light by the Planning Assessment Commission.
The proposed 268 million” tonne open-cut coal mine, which is located near Liverpool Plains, could produce around 10 million tonnes of coal per year for 30 years. The project has come under immense scrutiny from local farmers in the region who are concerned over the impact the mine will have over water tables and the surrounding environment.
The mine’s impact on groundwater resources were a key concern, with an earlier PAC review ordering Shenhua to make changes to its water management model. Independent modelling was also conducted by PAC.
The NSW commission found that while the mine would impact on biodiversity, air, and noise – Shenhua have the capacity to manage these issues.
The commission also found that owing to the mine’s location above the black soil plains, it will not directly disturb the highly fertile soil.
Shenhua Watermark welcomes the new mine approval
Shenhua Watermark project manager Paul Jackson welcomed PAC`s approval.
“Today is the final step in a long journey through the NSW approvals process. It has not been without challenges and both PACs have undertaken rigorous examinations of key aspects of the Project to confirm there will be no impacts on the wider agricultural production of the adjacent Liverpool Plains,” Jackson said.
“We have been subjected to detailed investigations at every step of the journey and the community can have confidence our assessments have been tested and confirmed by an independent panel of experts who have scrutinised every aspect of the project.
“We will not mine on the Liverpool Plains and the PAC has once again confirmed the irrefutable evidence showing the Project will not harm the valuable irrigation groundwater accessed by those who farm on the plains.”
New coal mine to begin construction this year
The mining company is looking to start mine site construction during 2015-16.
Around 600 people are expected to be employed at the mine with some $900 million contributions in direct and indirect spend every year for 30 years.
Despite the good news of more mining jobs in NSW, there are still strong opponents to the mine and it is expected that action groups will not let the pressure slide.
Advice to job seekers
This new mine is a significant addition to the NSW mining industry. Over the last 18 months, coal mining jobs in NSW have been affected by a declining coal price and subdued investment in the mining sector. Whilst NSW is world famous for its quality coal exported out of the port of Newcastle, there are still challenges ahead for mining companies operating mines in the region.
Now that the news is official and the mine is definitely going ahead, it’s the perfect time to think about applying to the company, or at the very least, getting prepared to do some research on the Shenhua Watermark coal project.
Digging up background information on the project,the company and the management team will greatly increase your chances of being successful in applying for jobs. That’s not to say, research alone will get you in the door; research is just one vital part of the job-hunting process.
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