COG members with an interest in Capertee Valley please take note.
A new Longwall Mine has just been launched in the Capertee Valley
These underground coal mines, while no-where near as damaging to the
environment as open cut mines, still have potential to damage the surface
environment, through impact on aquifers and rivers, and through resultant drying
of the environment (leading to increased fire risk), and pollution of
There are some people in the Mudgee and Lithgow areas trying to
fight these mines, from the point of view of the local residents. They probably
do not have much of an informed environmentalist perspective - eg, impacts on
threatened species, etc.
If anyone is interested in following this up, I can help put you in contact
with local anti-coal mining campaigners. I do not live there, but I do know
some of the relevant persons.
The following is an extract from the Lithgow Mercury. It is a typical
mining company press release, promising jobs, etc
Airly coal mine gets go ahead
16/10/2008 7:54:00 AM
completing an internal feasibility assessment Centennial Coal has decided
to proceed with the $100 million Airly project, Centennial Coal's General
Manager of Projects, Richard Tacon has announced.
Airly is a project acquired by Centennial Coal in 1997 with a 1993
Consent and will be for the export market.
It is an 80 million
tonne resource located approximately 4 km north east of the Capertee
village and 4km from Lithgow on the Castlereagh Highway in the Western
Coalfields. With an expected lifespan of around 20 years,
the infrastructure costs will exceed $100 million.
When in full
production there will be 127 people employed at Airly, however the multiplier
used to calculate the number of indirect jobs generated by the mining
industry by each direct job is 4.5 therefore Airly will support
a further 571 jobs.
As all of centennial's mines have at least 10
years of coal reserves left, this will be a new mine, and
no replacement for any existing pits on the Western Coalfields.
"Centennial is committed to actively engaging with the local
community, developing strategies which will maximise the project's economic
benefits to the local community, placing an utmost priority on minimising
environmental impacts, and strictly complying with the
appropriate planning laws," Mr Tacon said.
Airly is an underground mining operation with a mine life of
20 years, producing up to 1.8 million tonnes per annum using continuous
miners for coal extraction.
"Design works are progressing well on the major surface
infrastructure required to support the mine with construction scheduled to
commence early in 2009,"