Bylong Valley mine plans released

NEWCASTLE HERALD reports: A Korean government-backed mine proposal that will spell the end for an iconic Upper Hunter farm has been placed on public exhibition.

An environmental impact statement of more than 3000 pages said the mine would run for 25 years and provide 90 million tonnes of coal over its life, with an average annual workforce of 290.

The Kepco mine has been described as the new frontier in the clash between coal and agriculture after the shock Shenhua Watermark mine approval on the Liverpool Plains.

It has united farmers, environmental groups and academics who oppose the project.

‘‘If I was advising the minerals industry, I would have told them a long time ago there are some projects you should leave alone because they'll do you irreparable harm, and Watermark and Kepco are on that list,’’ said NSW Farmers mining spokesman Tim Duddy.

Bylong Valley Protection Alliance's Craig Shaw, whose property is affected by the project, said while community outrage had been focused on the Shenhua Watermark decision, the relative impacts of the Kepco mine on Bylong Valley would be even greater than the Watermark mine on the fertile Liverpool Plains.

‘‘If we’re going to make a stand in terms of whether we value agricultural land in this country, then it should be here,’’ Mr Shaw said.

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