AUSTRALIA, NEW SOUTH WALES – The Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) confirmed that no open-cut mining will be allowed at the Drayton South site in the Upper Hunter, after amendments to State mining and planning policies were signed into law on 22 December 2017.
DP&E Deputy Secretary of Planning Services, Marcus Ray, said the amendment would prohibit open-cut mining on the Drayton South exploration licence no matter who owns the land.
“This amendment brings certainty to the residents and other industries in the Upper Hunter,” Mr Ray said.
“Specifically, this amendment will protect the integrity and value of the world-renowned horse studs in the Upper Hunter.”
Mr Ray said the decision to ban open-cut mining on the site follows recommendations from the independent Planning and Assessment Commission.
In their decisions, the Commission determined that open-cut mining is incompatible with the unique combination of existing land uses in the area.
“The NSW Government has now taken action to address this incompatibility to ensure open-cut mining cannot be made over the area covered by the Drayton South exploration license.”
Underground mining will not be prohibited on the site, potentially providing jobs and boosting the local economy.
The exploration license for the Drayton South site was recently renewed, with Australian owned Malabar Coal agreeing to voluntarily relinquish all of the licence area south of the Golden Highway.