Invincible Mine at Cullen Bullen has been given the green light to reopen by the State Government.
The project, which includes an extension to the mine, is expected to create 32 jobs for the region.
The announcement, made on Monday afternoon, February 5, was welcomed by Bathurst MP Paul Toole.
“I am excited to again reinforce the critical role mining plays for the Lithgow work force,” Mr Toole said.
“The reopening of the Invincible Mine means 32 jobs for the local community which will in turn benefit the local economy.”
Mr Toole said the flow on effects of this decision would also benefit local industry and small business.
“This is great news for the working families of Lithgow and I’m so pleased to be delivering this news today,” Mr Toole said.
The announcement follows a NSW Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) public meeting held on November 29, 2017.
The Department of Planning said the extension would disturb up to 50 hectares of native vegetation, including threatened habitat of the Broad-headed snake and Squirrel Glider, as well as the threatened Capertee Stringybark.
It said any biodiversity impacts would be addressed by an offset package including 368 hectares of land based offsets and monetary packages. The proposal to extend the Invincible Mine did not include a request to increase coal production above the currently approved 1.2 megatons per year.
The Department of Planning recommended the approval be granted late last year provided open-cut mining did not encroach on steep wooded areas of the Ben Bullen Forest.
Manildra Group (which owns the mine) said the extension would bring up to 35 full-time jobs to the area over an eight-year mine life.
At the November 29 PAC meeting, Manildra stated the company had struck a “critical balance” in satisfying conservation concerns, Cullen Bullen’s needs and its own energy requirements.
The company has been seeking a cheaper supply of nut coal to sustain a starches plant in Shoalhaven.
Manildra currently purchases nut coal from Clarence Colliery and Whitehaven mine in Narrabri.
Energy Australia has indicated Mt Piper Power Station would receive “small volumes of coal” from the mine.
The project has been opposed by environment groups in the region.