1.2.3 Proposals and exploration


This section summarises coal resource development and exploration projects in the Sydney Basin bioregion as at January 2016. There are currently 12 projects at various stages of assessment in the Sydney Basin bioregion, 7 of which are coal mine development projects and 5 of which are known deposits that are currently not undergoing mine development. Ten of the projects are for underground mining operations. Half of these proposed developments seek to expand or extend (in time) existing mines including Airly Mine, Angus Place Colliery, WCL Russell Vale Colliery, Springvale, WCL Wongawilli Colliery and Pine Dale Coal Mine. The development applications for the Airly Mine and WCL Russell Vale Colliery seek to extend the right to mine beyond their approved expiration date in 2015. The previous Springvale mine agreement expired in September 2015, and in October 2015, the Australian Government approved the project until October 2035 with conditions attached. Angus Place Colliery seeks to extend mining beyond 2024. WCL Wongawilli Colliery has sought a time extension to allow for previously approved mining activities to occur, which had been severely interrupted due to past ownership changes. Hume Coal Project near Sutton Forest is for a new underground mine. Pine Dale Coal Mine is currently in care and maintenance as authorised reserves have been exhausted, but the extension would seek to recommence activity at the mine through open-cut operations.

There are five black coal deposits in the Western Coalfield that have been previously identified but are not yet at the stage of any mine development proposals. They are (i) the (previously mentioned) Neubeck, Boulder and Running Stream projects – all of which were drilled in the past but at which further activity has not been reported, (ii) the Inglenook Project, where drilling has been performed (iii) the East Lithgow Project, where extensive drilling was performed in the 1980s and although a resource was identified and hydrogeological studies were also carried out, no recent activity for this project has been reported. The Neubeck Project has been deemed a ‘controlled action’ by the Department of the Environment, but to date no Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) advice has been requested. At March 2016, Neubeck Project is considered an explored and undeveloped coal deposit.

There are no new coal seam gas (CSG) development projects currently expected in the bioregion.

Last updated:
21 January 2019