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Hunter Valley Operations amends mining proposal

Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) has amended its proposal to continue mining until 2050 by using the feedback on its environmental impact statement (EIS).

HVO is a joint venture between Yancoal, which owns 51 per cent, and Glencore, which owns the remaining 49 per cent. The mine is located in Lemington, 24km north-west of Singleton in New South Wales’ upper Hunter Valley region.

HVO is proposing to continue mining at HVO South from 2030 until 2045 and HVO North from 2025 until 2050.

HVO’s EIS was released for public consultation on January 31. 1060 submissions were made and 90 per cent of these were in support of the proposal.

“The overwhelming support for the proposal highlights the many benefits it offers to local people, businesses and the economy,” HVO general manager Dave Foster said.

“We want to thank the government agencies and authorities, councils, organisations and community members who took the time to make a submission. We’ve listened and refined the proposal based on that feedback.”

The proposal amendments are said to result in almost no direct impacts on the Warkworth Sands Woodland. The proposal will impact 0.3 hectares rather than 5.2 hectares.

There will also be reduced impacts on nearby Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, including no impacts to culturally modified trees. CM-CD1, an Aboriginal culturally sensitive area, will be avoided.

To top it off, the proposal amendments are expected to result in a 16 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions.

Since the EIS was released, HVO has completed additional analysis of its greenhouse gas emissions data to account for the Safeguard Mechanism reforms that were passed in March by the Federal Government.

“(HVO’s) continued mining will support around 1500 ongoing jobs and enable ongoing support to local businesses, community projects and charities and essential community services such as roads, hospitals and schools through mining royalties and taxes,” Foster said.

“This is not a new mine. Our proposal delivers in-demand, high quality, coal with relatively little additional disturbance to remnant vegetation or other impacts compared to other projects of a similar scale. This coal will contribute to the energy security of some of Australia’s important trading partners during their transition to a low carbon economy.”

The amended proposal has now been outlined in a submissions report and project amendment report that HVO has submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for assessment.

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