KEPCO has plans for two open cut coal mines (to operate for 10 years) and an underground mine (to operate for 20 years), to supply 6.5 million tonnes of thermal coal a year, with 24/7 operations.
KEPCO claims the project will employ 800 people in the initial construction phase and 470 full-time workers in operation. Construction is proposed to begin in 2017 and take two years. Waste from underground mining will be stored in the open cut voids created by the open cut mines, once underground mining starts (in Year 7). KEPCO says it wants ‘ensure no net loss of agriculture productivity in the lease area over project life’, but productivity across the properties it has bought out so far has already declined.
KEPCO's project was initially assessed by NSW government’s Mining Gateway Panel, which has no power to reject a project. The panel granted a conditional Gateway certificate despite the project only meeting one of 11 relevant criteria.
KEPCO lodged its Development Application for the mine in July 2015 and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is due shortly. The company has been criticised for failing to qdequately consult with the community on the EIS prior to it being lodged.