ABC reports: The New South Wales Government's mining gateway panel has granted a conditional certificate to a Bylong Valley application that did not meet the relevant criteria.
The gateway panel's role is to assess the potential impacts of gas and mining projects on agricultural and water resources prior to applicants lodging development applications.
It has been criticised for not being able to refuse projects deemed inappropriate, as it can only approve projects with or without conditions.
This week it issued a conditional certificate to Korean company Kepco which is proposing to develop the Bylong Valley's first coal mine.
The panel's report found the application met only one of 12 relevant criteria points.