SIMEC Mining has secured environmental approval from the Australian government for the extension of its Tahmoor coal mine in New South Wales (NSW).

The approval was granted by Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley on behalf of the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

The current operations at the Tahmoor coal mine are due to end next year. With the approval, the mine life of the coking coal mine can be extended until 2032.

Earlier this year, the extension project received conditional approval from the Australian Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and from the NSW Independent Planning Commission.

Through the extension project, SIMEC Mining’s subsidiary Tahmoor Coal aims to draw 33 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal over 10 years. The coal will be extracted from 12 new longwall panels to the south of the company’s existing operations, 75km southwest of Sydney.

Construction pertaining to the mine extension will take two years. Longwall mining is slated to begin in 2023 and continue till 2032.

The Tahmoor coal mine began operations in 1979 and had undergone various changes in its ownership. Since April 2018, it has been owned by SIMEC Mining, which is a part of the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG Alliance).

The underground coal mining operation is located in the Southern Highlands Region, just south of the Tahmoor township.

It operates in the Bulli coal seam and has hard coking coal making up the majority of its product. The mine also produces small amounts of a speciality blend coal.

The coking coal produced from the Tahmoor coal mine is used for steel making in the Australian, European and Asian markets.