Wallarah 2

Wallarah 2 is a proposed underground mine 100 km north of Sydney on the Central Coast (NSW Government, 2011, p. 3). The mine is owned by Wyong Coal Pty Ltd. Expected production may be up to 5 Mt/year of coal over 28 years, using longwall mining methods (Earth Systems, 2013, p. 11, p. 20). Coal is proposed to be exported from Newcastle (NSW Government, 2011, p. 3). The depth of the mine is likely to range from 345 to 690 m below ground level (NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, 2014a, p. 20).

Onsite facilities include staff amenities, ventilation systems and service boreholes, water bores and surface water management infrastructure, bulk storage facilities and a rail provisioning facility (NSW Government, 2011, p. 9). Exploration drilling commenced in June 1996 and was completed in 2002 with a total of 352 boreholes, followed by five larger diameter boreholes that were drilled to assist with coal characterisation (NSW Government, 2011, p. 7; Hansen Bailey, 2013, p. 12).

The project was refused in 2011 by the Minister for Planning because of uncertainty about the subsidence predictions, inadequate studies of the potential surface water quality impacts, uncertainty about ecological impacts and uncertainty around the heritage impacts. The project was resubmitted in 2013 (Earth Systems, 2013, p. 32). PAC reviewed the project in 2014 and although a number of conditions related to water-related impacts were suggested (PAC, 2014, p. iii), as at mid-2015, the Department has not finalised its Final Assessment Report. The project has encountered legal difficulties as the project does not have legal consent of the owner of some of the land for its development application to be determined (Colin Phillips, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, pers. comm.).

Last updated:
18 January 2019
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