The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has recommended the project to be approved, subject to certain operational performance measures.

Wollongong Coal COO Dave Stone said: "The proposal the PAC will consider has been subjected to scrutiny from a range of regulators and experts and refined based on feedback from that process."

"We acknowledge concerns with regards to potential environmental impacts and in response to feedback from the community and regulators we have refined the proposal to further ensure the ongoing protection of our local environment."

As part of the expansion project, the company plans to upgrade surface infrastructure and coal extraction from eight longwalls in the east area of the project.

The expansion is part of effort to produce three million ton of coal a year.

Wollongong Coal owns and operates Russell Vale and Wongawilli collieries in the southern coalfields region of New South Wales.