Mangoola Coal Mine

Mangoola Coal Mine (formerly known as the Anvil Hill Mine) was acquired by Xstrata Mangoola Pty Ltd (now Glencore) from Centennial Hunter Pty Ltd in 2007 after Project Approval PA06_0014 was granted (Umwelt, 2013b, p. 1; Glencore, 2014g). The mining lease was granted on 20 November 2008 (NSW Department of Primary Industries, 2008) and mining is expected to continue until approximately 2026 (Umwelt, 2013e, p. 1).

Mangoola Coal Mine is located near Wybong, 20 km west of Muswellbrook and approximately 10 km north of Denman (Umwelt, 2013b, p. 1; Glencore, 2014g). There are three open-cut pits at Mangoola Coal Mine: the Northern Pit, the Main Pit and the Southern Pit (NSW Office of Water, 2008, p. 2). The Mangoola Coal Exploration Program was undertaken (by Mangoola Coal, Glencore) during 2014 to better understand coal resource potential within the Authorisation Lease (AL) 9 and Exploration Licence (EL) 5552 within which is situated ML 1626 and Mangoola Coal Mine (Glencore, 2014h). Currently the mine is approved to produce 13.5 Mt/year (Project Approval 06_2014, approved 28 April 2014) (NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, 2014) which was increased from the previously approved limit of 10.5 Mt/year (Glencore, 2014g). Mining is performed using truck and excavator operations (Umwelt, 2013b, p. 1). Coal resources as at December 2013 were reported to be 180 Mt (measured), 70 Mt (indicated) and 1100 Mt (inferred) (GlencoreXstrata, 2014, p. 49). The coal sequence at Mangoola typically shows a massive conglomerate/sandstone overburden 15 to 90 m thick. This includes the Awaba Tuff, typically 9 to 10 m thick at the site, lying between the Great Northern and Fassifern coal seams. The Awaba Tuff is covered by overburden with a depth of around 10 m and is found between the deeper Fassifern and Great Northern seams.

Most of Mangoola Coal Mine lies within the Wybong Creek catchment and is managed under the Wybong Creek Water Sharing Plan 2003 (Umwelt, 2013c, p. 9). Licensable water from the Wybong Creek Water Source will not be used for mining purposes, in accordance with the project approval (Umwelt, 2013c, p. 9, p. 19). The main sources of water for the Mangoola Coal Mine are direct rainfall into the catchment, dirty and clean/raw water catchments and groundwater inflow to open-cut pits (Umwelt 2013c, p. 19, p. 28). Water can be extracted under license from the Hunter River to meet the deficit in the site’s water balance (Umwelt, 2013c, p. 28). Dirty water is generally runoff from disturbed areas; when water has been in contact with coal and has the potential to be saline. Clean water is pumped from the Hunter River into the raw water dam (Umwelt, 2013c, p. 28), which has a storage capacity of 2567 ML (Umwelt 2013c, p. 24). Major (greater than 10 ML capacity) on-site water storages amount to approximately 7200 ML (Umwelt, 2013c, p. 24).

Glencore currently holds licences under NSW’s Water Act 1992 for Mangoola Coal Mine including extraction bores, test bores and monitoring bores (Umwelt, 2013d, p. 6). The volume of groundwater extracted from works authorised by bore licences shall not exceed 700 ML in any 12 month period (NSW Office of Water, 2012, p. 3). Most creek lines support vegetation that prefers moist or waterlogged soil and there are some semi-permanent ponds along the three major creeks supporting a variety of native vegetation, in addition to 20 dams in the area of various depths and sizes (Umwelt, 2011b, p. 2.4–2.6). Rehabilitation of the overburden emplacement areas and backfilled pits will be conducted progressively over the life of the mine as soon as practicable after mining disturbance. Rehabilitation of infrastructure areas will occur as soon as practicable following decommissioning of infrastructure (Umwelt, 2011b, p. 4.1).

Detailed planning for mine closure is scheduled to commence once the remaining life of mine becomes less than five years. Consultation will occur with the local community, relevant government authorities and in accordance with the Mangoola Coal Sustainable Development Management System (Umwelt, 2013e, p. 2). The Rehabilitation and Offset Management Plan (ROMP) describes short- and long-term management of ecological values of the project area (Umwelt (Australia) Pty Limited, 2011b, p. 1.1–1.2).

Last updated:
18 January 2019
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