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SSD Modifications

Assessment

Modification 6 - underground mining extension

Mid-Western Regional

Current Status: Assessment

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. Prepare Mod Report
  2. Exhibition
  3. Collate Submissions
  4. Response to Submissions
  5. Assessment
  6. Recommendation
  7. Determination

The Proposed Modification includes extension and widening of longwall panels and minor changes to surface infrastructure

EPBC

This project is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, or an accredited assessment process. For more information, refer to the Australian Government's website.

Attachments & Resources

Early Consultation (1)

Notice of Exhibition (1)

SEARs (2)

Modification Application (18)

Response to Submissions (5)

Agency Advice (10)

Submissions

Filters
Showing 1 - 20 of 53 submissions
Mudgee District Environment Group
Object
Budgee Budgee , New South Wales
Message
See attachment
Attachments
Bradley Bliss
Support
ORANGE , New South Wales
Message
Glencoe Ulan Coal have fully consulted with me as an interested party and I support the application for Modification 6.
Wellington Valley Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation
Support
ORANGE , New South Wales
Message
Wellington Valley Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation Elders, Members and Knowledge Holders have been consulted and agree to the proposed modification application.
Lock the Gate Alliance
Object
Sydney , New South Wales
Message
Please see the attached submission for a snapshot of some of the reasons Lock the Gate objects to this Project.
Attachments
Les Johnston
Object
BALMAIN , New South Wales
Message
see attached file
Attachments
Water For Rivers
Object
CHIPPENDALE , New South Wales
Message
Objection to Ulan Coalmine Mod 6
Background
Ulan Coal Mine is one of the oldest coal mines in Australia, dating back to the 1920s. It is located near the village of Ulan in the central west of NSW, approximately 45 kilometers north-east of Mudgee and 25 kilometers north-east of Gulgong. Ulan Coal operations is 100% owned and managed by Glencore. It comprises two underground mining operations – Ulan Underground and Ulan West Operations. Glencore is a Swiss-based multinational corporation, one of the world’s largest mining companies. Ulan Mine has current approval to produce 20 million tonnes of thermal coal per annum until 2033 from their three large adjacent coalmining operations.
The proposed new workings will provide continuation access to a large area of coal to the north of current operations. The modification aims to extend underground longwall panels to extract a further 25 million tonnes of thermal coal and extend the mine life by two years to 2035. Existing approvals should not be easily extended. Ulan Coal Mine produces thermal coal for export. So it is not needed for any use within Australia. Thermal coal is produced for use in electricity production. Thermal coal with a high carbon and sulphur content means it is also a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. There are other cheaper methods for power generation, mainly renewables. Despite Glencore’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, this proposal will continue to increase global carbon emissions. This is greenwash.
1. Water impacts
a) Ulan Mine is located at the headwaters of the Goulburn River Catchment. The cumulative impact of underground longwall mining of current approvals has caused permanent loss of irreplaceable groundwater sources.
b) The iconic groundwater dependent ecosystem on the Goulburn River known as ‘The Drip’ is incorrectly described with no recognition of the connection to the regional groundwater system. Areas such as The Drip have special historical, social and Indigenous significance to residents and will be placed in significant risk through expanded mining.
c) The Ulan Coal Mine is still polluting the Goulburn River with salty discharges into the river. No monitoring of the salt levels of these discharges has taken place.
d) The flora and fauna habitat in the region relies on the availability of water resources, both above and underground. The risks and impacts to good water flow to the Goulburn River and associated areas have not been adequately investigated.
e) Cumulative groundwater drawdown will cause loss of additional base flows to both the Goulburn River to the east and the Talbragar River to the west for up to 3,000 years.
2. Biodiversity
a) The mining complex covers more than120 km2 (12,000 hectares) of sensitive environments with significant cultural heritage values and straddles the Great Dividing Range. An additional area of 993.2 hectares will be impacted by mine subsidence including cumulative impact on significant sandstone cliff lines, if the extension goes ahead.
b) Loss of 24.7 ha of woodland vegetation including 9.5 ha of critically endangered White Box – Yellow Box – Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland ecological community providing habitat for numerous threatened fauna and flora species
c) Removal and disturbance of habitat for critically endangered animals and birds: Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot; endangered Koala and Long-eared Pied Bat and numerous other threatened fauna species.
3. Past Failures to apply Environmental Offsets.
a) In was reported in the Guardian in 2021, that Ulan Coal mine was granted eight extensions over eight years to the deadline by which it had to secure offsets to compensate for the destruction of box gum woodland and habitat for the swift parrot, regent honeyeater and large-eared pied bat. But 10 hectares remained outstanding a decade after the mine was approved. It has only recently been carried out.
b) The pattern of delays had set a precedent for mining companies securing offsets only when it’s convenient for them, apparently without consequences.
c) Offsets facilitate environmental destruction while kicking the claimed compensatory measures down the road. The federal environment department has never fined a coal company for failing to secure an offset on time.
d) However, in light of this history, it is clear no one can trust Glencore to fulfil its environmental obligations.
4) First Nations Culture
An additional 48 sites with First Nations cultural values will be impacted. The cumulative loss of cultural heritage across the Ulan Mine is highly significant. There has been no official audit of the sacred sites and heritage objects in the area.
It is imperative that coal mining cease at the Ulan operation no later than 2033 to allow for the necessary global decarbonisation for the management of climate extremes. It would be preferable that the Ulan Coal Mining company cease its operations immediately, if they cannot mitigate their environmental impact. The Rylstone community has suffered enough.
Beverley Smiles
Object
WOLLAR , New South Wales
Message
My objections are in the attached submission
Attachments
Inland Rivers Network
Object
Pyrmont , New South Wales
Message
Inland Rivers Network submission of objection attached
Attachments
Wollar Progress Association
Object
WOLLAR , New South Wales
Message
Submission objecting to project attached
Attachments
Central West Environment Council
Object
Summerhill Creek , New South Wales
Message
Objection attached
Attachments
Mark Fogarty
Support
EAST MAITLAND , New South Wales
Message
I support the Mod 6 Project as it will allow Ulan Coal Mines to provide security of employment for over 650 employees and continuation of its significant contribution of the local and regional economy. This Project does not provide any major changes to the current environmental and social impact of mining activities and requires only minor changes to current infrastructure.
Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange
Object
Orange , New South Wales
Message
Attachments
Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle
Object
Rozelle , New South Wales
Message
Refer attached
Attachments
BirdLife Southern NSW
Object
BLACKTOWN , New South Wales
Message
See attached PDF letter submission
Attachments
Emily Pease
Support
MUDGEE , New South Wales
Message
To whom it may concern,

I am writing today to express my support for the Ulan Coal Continued Operations Project Modification. As a resident of Mudgee, I support the extension of the mine, and therefore extending mine life to 2035. Ulan Coal has been providing local jobs and supporting the community for over 100 years, approval of the modification will continue to provide economic benefits to the region.

Thank you.
Mid-Western Regional Council
Comment
MUDGEE , New South Wales
Message
Attachments
Anne Reeves
Object
Glebe , New South Wales
Message
I object to the proposed …

I write as an individual deeply concerned over many years by the adverse impact of coal mining. on the future welfare of people and the planets natural systems which sustain us.

Locally, the impacts of the mining operation have already impinged directly on the landscape, including adjacent and nearby land of high cultural significance reserved also to protect wildlife under the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Act. Any further expansion will only compound these adverse impacts

Sadly extensive mine operations have already affected the nature of the valley including through clearing, distortion of natural water flow patterns, disruptive sound and light pollution, traffic and alienation of former rural and natural landscapes.

Globally, burning coal, from where-ever sourced, is well recognised as a contributor to climate change – a point long highlighted by Australia’s Pacific nation neighbours as evidenced in calls to cease coal mining made at the IUCN conference by leaders from Kiribati and other countries at the 2014 World Parks Congress held in Sydney, More recently this issue has been specifically recognised in a number of legal cases. The coal mining industry has had more than enough time to adjust to the need to wind down and out of the business. Offsetting of carbon emissions is not the answer, and indeed is increasingly being shown as a furphy, not even truly delivering a ‘no net loss’ but rather a failed diversionary exercise of pretence.

The just released 2022 State of the Climate Report by the Bureau of Meteorology in conjunction with CSIRO reinforces this concern, noting inter alia that many of the climate changes are being driven by rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused mostly by the burning of fossil fuels with consequent implications for matters protected under the EPBC Act.

As a conservationist of long standing, with backgrounds in science, local government and environmental advocacy I consider it would be wrong to approve any expansions that further entrench and facilitate an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
John Clarke
Object
ST FILLANS , New South Wales
Message
I object to Modification 6 on the basis that it challenges Glencore, the owner and operator of Ulan coal operations, who made a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. This proposal if it goes ahead will increase carbon emissions and totally invalidate their commitments.
More than 40 First Nations sites of cultural significance will be impacted by this proposal
Another impact will be loss of habitat for critically endangered species such as the Koala, Regent Honeyeater and the Long eared Oied Bat.
Groundwater drawdown from mining operations will result in the loss of base flows of water to both the Goulburn River and the Talbragar River further away to the west.
I wish to register my objection to Modification 6 of Ulan Coal Operations.
Name Withheld
Object
MANLY , New South Wales
Message
Hello Planners

This Ulan coal mine already has approval to produce some 20 million tonnes of thermal coal each year til 2033, and seeks your approval to extend the mine life by a further 2 years, ie. to produce another 40 million tonnes of coal.

Here’s the thing – the world doesn’t need another 40 millions tonnes of thermal coal! The subsequent burning of this coal will contribute an enormous amount of additional CO2 emissions, as well as the CO2 from the processes of extraction, transport, etc. Even Blind Freddy can see that extreme weather events caused by global warming caused by massive increases of atmospheric CO2 is A Bigger Thing – one that should not be messed around with any more. The writing’s on the wall, people .. don’t approve it!

Additionally, almost 1000 hectares will be affected by mine subsidence, the extraordinary sandstone cliffs of the area will be at high risk (I should know – I was born in the area and have walked much of it and I don’t want them messed with), and dozens of significant Aboriginal sites will be affected or lost (haven’t whitefellas done enough damage already?!).

Then there’s the destruction / disturbance of critically endangered habitat – you’ve heard about the Swift Parrot, the Regent Honeyeater, but did you know that NSW Koalas are listed as endangered under Federal Law (EPBC Act) since Feb this year? This is one of the few remaining areas where Koalas can successfully do their thing. Give them a break! Give us all a break!!

I also draw your attention to the cumulative groundwater drawdown which will cause loss of even more base flows to the Talbragar and Goulburn Rivers for evah! You can see I’ve done some homework. Please don’t waste the planet anymore – the current approval to 2033 is more than enough rope .. reject the proposed expansion, save the world. You know you want to, right?

Seriously

Nigel C
Manly, NSW
Margaret Cameron
Object
LUE , New South Wales
Message
There is no future for new coal projects in our region!

Pagination

Project Details

Application Number
MP08_0184-Mod-6
EPBC ID Number
2022/09292
Main Project
MP08_0184
Assessment Type
SSD Modifications
Development Type
Coal Mining
Local Government Areas
Mid-Western Regional

Contact Planner

Name
Genevieve Lucas