Yancoal Australia has secured approval from the New South Wales Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) for stage two expansion at its Moolarben project.

With this approval, the company will be able to develop two additional underground mining areas and an open cut pit to the east of the operation’s approved underground and open cut coal mines.

Yancoal Australia CEO Reinhold Schmidt said: "Today’s approval for the Moolarben Stage Two Project provides greater certainty for our people, the community and the many local contractors and service providers who continue to support our operations.

"The Stage Two project will provide new opportunities for investment and employment within the region and demonstrates Yancoal Australia’s long – term commitment to the Australian resources sector during a period of significant economic challenge."

The stage two expansion is estimated to produce around 16 million tons per annum of run of mine coal for 24 years, while creating up to 120 new full time jobs.

Moolarben Coal produces both thermal and coking coal. In 2014, the mine produced 6.4 million tons of saleable coal.

The complex is operated by Moolarben Coal Operations, which is a joint venture of Yancoal Australia and a consortium headed by Kores Australia Moolarben Coal and Sojitz Moolarben Resources.