The modifications have been approved to the Boggabri Coal Operations' existing project approval for the Boggabri coal mine in New South Wales (NSW)


Image: The Boggabri coal mine is located in the Gunnedah Basin in Australia. Photo: courtesy of Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Ltd.

The Independent Planning Commission of New South Wales (NSW) has signed off modifications to the Boggabri Coal Operations’ existing project approval for the Boggabri coal mine project.

Boggabri Coal Operations, which a subsidiary of Idemitsu Australia Resources, currently has permission to extract up to 8.6 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal annually at the open-cut coal mine until December 2033.

The firm also operates a coal train loading facility, handling and preparation plant and rail loop and spur line at the mine, which is located approximately 17km north-east of Boggabri in the Gunnedah Basin.

The modification application was submitted by Boggabri Coal Operations to the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment, which referred the matter to the Commission as result of “high level of public interest in the application”.

Boggabri mine is operated by Idemitsu subsidiary Boggabri Coal Operations

Boggabri Coal Operations was seeking to secure biodiversity offsets through alternative mechanisms and extend the timeframe for securing the offsets until February 2020.

It also sought to use an approved stockpile area for its product coal; and undertake drilling and exploration activities within the approved disturbance area.

The firm also pursued authorization to transport small tonnages of coal by road for testing and marketing purposes, and realign a small section of the Project boundary with the adjoining Tarrawonga Coal mine.

Backing the department’s assessment, the Commission has approved the modifications that there would be no change in approved mining footprint or mining methods; no increase to the approved maximum extraction rate; and no alter to the approved transportation methods for operational purposes.

The conditions also include no increase to the maximum transport rate, and no increase to the approved environmental impacts of the project.

Independent Planning Commission said in a statement: “The Commission has determined that the Modification can be approved, subject to the Department’s proposed conditions.

“These conditions are designed to prevent, minimise and/or offset adverse environmental impacts and impacts on the community.”

Idemitsu Australia Resources owns 80% of the project through its subsidiary company, Boggabri Coal. Chugoku Electric Power Australia Resources and NS Boggabri own 10% stake, each.