HomeMining Industry News Another step forward for Warkworth expansion

Another step forward for Warkworth expansion

Thursday 22nd of October 2015 12:54:54 PM

Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley Warkworth mine expansion has been deemed “approvable”, subject to six conditions, a review of the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has found.

In a report released on Thursday, the commission recommended tighter noise and air-quality management measures for the mine, located near the town of Bulga.

The report also included stricter management of vegetation screening and other visual mitigation measures be put in place in a ‘‘timely manner’’ after the mine is finished.

The PAC assessed what impact a new mining policy that gives equal weight to economic, social and environmental considerations would have on the project.

The commission said it had ‘‘carefully considered’’ the impacts of the policy change, and balanced the key areas of concern.

‘‘The commission is satisfied that the project’s benefits as currently understood outweigh its potential impacts, and that on balance the project is approvable,’’ it said.

Mount Thorley Warkworth general manager Mark Rodgers hailed the decision on Thursday, arguing the decision to let the mine’s application go to the final determination stage offered certainty in the Hunter.

“Today’s recommendation from the NSW Planning Assessment Commission provides a great sense of hope for the 1300 people who work at the mine and for the hundreds of Hunter Valley businesses and community groups it supports," Mr Rodgers said.

Leading the fight against the expansion is the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association.

President John Krey of the Association said the decision was "tribute to the iron grip the mining industry still has over the NSW government".

"We will now consider the options available to us, using every peaceful means available.

"This battle to save our township of Bulga is not over yet."


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