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Hunter Valley Operations seeks continuation of mines

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One of the region’s longest-running mines, Hunter Valley Operations (HVO), is seeking to extend its lifespan.

The company plans to continue mining at its HVO South site until 2045 and its HVO North locale until 2050.

The move will support about 1,500 ongoing jobs as well as an additional 600 during construction.

“This is not a new mine – it’s a continuation of operations that have been ongoing for the past 70 years,” HVO general manager Dave Foster said.

“And, we are not seeking to increase our currently-approved production rates.

“Our plan is focussed on recovery of more coal from previously mined or presently approved zones.

“While some new areas at HVO North will be mined, some areas previously approved for mining at HVO South will not be developed.

“But, we’ll continue to implement industry-leading initiatives in managing air quality, noise and water resources and progressive rehabilitation of mined land.

“HVO – including this continuation project – will be subject to the requirements of the federal government’s proposed Safeguard Mechanism.

“It will have a declining emissions baseline and will need to comply with other elements of the reforms, which form part of the government’s suite of measures to achieve the national emission reduction target of 43% by 2030.”

Hunter Valley Operations will also realign Lemington Road with a new bridge over the Hunter River to replace the flood-prone Moses Crossing.

“We plan to spend $80 million on that project, which will address a long-running issue for local road users,” Mr Foster said.

“Moses Crossing has been underwater continuously since March 2022 and, on multiple occasions, over the past 10 years.

“The proposed new bridge would have kept Lemington Road clear of flooding over that period.”

Mr Foster said Hunter Valley Operations was proud of its contribution to the many local communities in the area.

“Every year, we support local businesses, deliver royalties to back public infrastructure and services, as well as provide grants and other charity assistance,” he stated.

“In 2021, for example, HVO’s direct economic contribution was $862 million.

“This included our spend of $537 million on goods and services with 740 businesses, many of which are based here in the Hunter.”

He added the community had provided valuable feedback during the scoping and design of the latest continuation project.

“We’re constantly consulting with neighbouring residents on specific measures to further minimise impacts,” Mr Foster said.

Community members can now comment on the proposal, with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on public exhibition until 24 February.

HVO will also host information sessions at Jerrys Plains School of the Arts Hall, from 4pm to 7pm, on 13 February and at 880 Maison Dieu Road, Maison Dieu, from 8am to 10am, on 18 February to give residents an opportunity to view the documents and ask questions of project staff.

The EIS is available from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s website.

HVO has produced a project summary, along with other information about the proposal.

For people wishing to make a submission, go to www.hvo.com.au/continuation.

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