Group Description

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In the pristine Bylong Valley, which boasts some of NSWs best agricultural land, Korean power company KEPCO plans to build a new coal mine, threatening farming, water security and Bylongs social fabric. This comes at a time when the coal price is plummeting and the world is turning to renewables. The greenfield mine, designed to power KEPCOs Korean power stations, will significantly impact Tarwyn Park, the property renowned for its sustainable land use methods. KEPCO also proposes moving rich soils, the local Catholic cemetery and local school, which lie in the path of the mine, to another area. The project is bathed in the shadow of the infamous corruption scandal that engulfed the Obeid family and former Mining Minister Ian Macdonald and, after a lengthy ICAC investigation, helped shatter public faith in the integrity of NSWs planning process. KEPCO has plans for two open cut coal mines to operate for 10 years and an underground mine to operate for 20 years, to supply 6.5 million tonnes of thermal coal a year, with 24/7 operations. KEPCO claims the project will employ 800 people in the initial construction phase and 470 fulltime workers in operation. Construction is proposed to begin in 2017 and take two years. Waste from underground mining will be stored in the open cut voids created by the open cut mines, once underground mining starts in Year 7.

KEPCO’s project was initially assessed by NSW governments Mining Gateway Panel, which has no power to reject a project. The panel granted a conditional Gateway certificate despite the project only meeting one of 11 relevant criteria. KEPCO lodged its Development Application for the mine in July 2015 and the Environmental Impact Statement EIS is due shortly. The company has been criticised for failing to adequately consult with the community on the EIS prior to it being lodged.

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Bylong Valley

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