BHP has begun the process of extending the life of their Mount Arthur mine at Muswellbrook.
Currently mining will finish at Mount Arthur in 2026, so they are seeking approval through until 2045.
The approval would involve the extension of open-cut operations and additional overburden emplacement and minor extensions to their existing infrastructure.
The process starts with getting State Significant Development (SSD) and Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act approvals, as well as a new mining lease.
Mount Arthur General Manager Adam Lancey has said that securing a new approval can take several years so starting now will enable comprehensive assessment, review and stakeholder engagement to take place.
“The process of securing new approvals can take several years. Starting now will enable comprehensive assessment, review and stakeholder engagement to take place, and provide clarity for the local people, communities and businesses who live near and work with Mt Arthur Coal.”
As announced in August 2020, BHP is assessing options to divest its thermal coal assets, including Mt Arthur Coal, to focus its portfolio on higher quality metallurgical coal. This means Mt Arthur Coal’s ownership or operating control could change in the coming years.
Image credit: BHP