The expansion project of Vickery coal mine owned by Whitehaven Coal was finally approved by the Australian federal government after five-year technical assessment and consultation with stakeholders, according to foreign media.
The project located in New South Wales was firstly approved by the state's Independent Program Committee in August 2020.
Vickery coal mine has designed capacity of 4.5 million tonne per year. The expansion can increase the mine's production of thermal coal and semi-soft coking coal to 10 million tonnes annually and extend its service life to the year of 2051.
During the period, Vickery coal mine is expected to produce 135 million tonnes of coal in total.
Whitehaven Coal said the project would bring $1.2 billion net economic revenue to New South Wales and create 950 jobs for constructing and running it.
However, the coal mine is unlikely to be put into production any time soon. Whitehaven Coal said that the project would cost $700 million, and it had to work hard to reduce debts. It may take at least one year for it to make investment decisions.
"Vickery coal mine is likely to become one of the most important sources of employment and investment in northwestern New South Wales in the coming years. The related infrastructure projects will play a key role in reviving the local economy in the post-pandemic period," said Paul Flynn, chairman and CEO of Whitehaven Coal.
(Writing by Shengnan Liu Editing by Tammy Yang)
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