The NSW Government recently announced there will be no open-cut mining at the Drayton South site in the Upper Hunter.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the proposed amendment to state mining and planning policies would prohibit open-cut mining on the Drayton South exploration licence no matter who owns the land and would protect the valuable and world renowned horse studs in the area.
Mr Roberts said the project had been the subject of recommendations by the independent Planning Assessment Commission after merit-based assessment processes.
“The Commission has twice refused open-cut mining applications on the Drayton South exploration licence area and determined that open-cut mining is incompatible with the unique combination of existing land uses in the area,” Mr Roberts said.
“The NSW Government has now taken action to address this incompatibility by proposing that applications for open-cut mining cannot be made over the Drayton South exploration licence.
“This will bring certainty to the community and local industry, including the internationally renowned equine operations in this area.”
Underground mining exploration will be permitted on the site, potentially providing jobs and boosting the local economy.
Minister for Resources, Don Harwin said, “Given the protections the NSW Government is putting in place I have renewed EL 5460 to permit exploration activity for underground mining only.
“As part of the renewal Malabar Coal has agreed to voluntarily relinquish all of the licence area south of the Golden Highway.”