Bickham Coal Project

The Bickham Coal Project is owned by Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd (Bickham Coal Company) and consists of Exploration Licence (EL) 5888 and EL 5306 approximately 12 km south-east of Murrurundi and 25 km north of Scone, in the northern part of the Hunter subregion (Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd, 2013). The area of the exploration licences covers 1154 ha on which there are 127 boreholes including water bores, cored bores and some geophysically logged holes (Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd, 2013a). Thermal coal resources of 36.3 Mt (Ewers et al, 2002) were been identified at the Bickham Coal Project and further exploration has identified a potential underground resource of an additional 210 Mt of coal.

Initially both open-cut and underground mining had been proposed at Bickham. In 2009 the Bickham Coal Project Water Resource Assessment and Draft Water Management Plan was presented to the New South Wales Department of Planning (Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd, 2009). After an independent review of the proposal by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), in May 2010, the NSW PAC announced that the Bickham open-cut coal mine would not proceed (Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd, 2010; NSW Government, 2010). The reason for this was risk of water contamination and drainage, and the incompatibility of land use, threatening the viability of the region’s internationally renowned thoroughbred breeding industry (Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd, 2010). A ground and surface water impact assessment has been performed and proposed measures to minimise risk of impacts have been identified (Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd, 2009, p. A-11). In 2004, Bickham Coal Company announced that preliminary work had started on the commencement of an environmental impact statement (EIS) (Bickham Coal Company Pty Ltd, 2004) although to date no EIS has been submitted.

Last updated:
18 January 2019
Thumbnail of the Hunter subregion

Product Finalisation date