(02) 4352 7500 info@wallarah.com.au

Project Description

The Wallarah 2 Coal Project will continue the long tradition of coal mining in the north of the Central Coast region and will bring significant economic and employment benefits to the region and NSW.

The approved Wallarah 2 Coal Project (W2CP) will involve construction and operation of an underground coal mine and associated facilities for 28 years (the Project). The Project will involve the extraction of up to 5 Million tonnes per annum of export quality thermal coal via longwall mining methods. The Project being an underground longwall mine will generally be comprised of:

    • Coal handling and storage facilities,
    • Rail spur and loading infrastructure,
    • An underground drift entry and ventilation shafts,
    • Gas and water management facilities, and
    • Maintenance facilities and administration buildings.

To resolve land access issues for coal transfer facilities, Wyong Coal amended the original project to provide for:

    • Removal of the previously proposed rail loop and relocation of the rail spur and train load out facility to along the eastern side of the Main Northern Rail Line;
    • Extension of the conveyor system to deliver product coal from the stockpile to the new location of the train load out facility, and
    • Realignment of sewer connection;
      all shown in Figure 1.

FIGURE 1 – click to enlarge

FIGURE 2 – click to enlarge

The Project surface facilities will be located on land zoned largely for industrial development and being an underground mine, the surface footprint or disturbance area is very small while being compatible with the surrounding land use.  The main areas to be developed are:

    • The Tooheys Road Site surface facilities between the Motorway Link Road, M1 Motorway and the local industrial facilities (Boral Quarry & Tile Factory and Fulton Hogan Asphalt Plant), a rail spur alongside the Main Northern Rail Line, stockpiles, coal conveyor system, water and gas management facilities, workshop and offices;
    • The Buttonderry Site Surface Facilities between Sparks Road and the local Council’s Buttonderry Waste Management Facility. The Buttonderry Site will include the main personnel access to the mine, main ventilation facilities, offices and employee amenities; and
    • The Western Ventilation Shaft located at a small site within the Wyong State Forest which is required for ventilation purposes by Year 13.

All of these facilities except the western ventilation shaft will be located on company owned land.

Figure 2, to the right, shows the indicative underground mining area and location of surface facilities.

AERIAL FLYOVER OF PROPOSED COAL HANDLING AND RAIL LOADING INFRASTRUCTURE

Longwall mining is a term used to describe how the coal is extracted. The mining method involves the formation of large panels of coal between a series of underground roadways. These panels are then extracted by a mechanical shearer which makes progressive passes along the coal face. Coal is removed by a conveyor, behind which are a number of hydraulic jacks supporting the overlying rocks (“roof”) during the extraction process.

Since the coal seam up to 6.5m thick is located so deep below the surface (as deep as 690m), it needs to be accessed by a long sloped tunnel (drift) which will start at the proposed surface facilities site at Tooheys Road (Figure 3). The main administration, personnel access and ventilation facilities will be located at a separate site, to the south of the Council’s Buttonderry Waste Management Facility (Figure 4).

The Project has been designed to accommodate both social and environmental issues that were raised through community consultation and detailed investigations and reflected in the consent conditions under the approval. Key aspects include:

  • development of mine plan which safeguards the water supply catchment
  • no coal washery or associated reject disposal issues
  • gas and water management initiatives
  • enhanced strategies for subsidence and environmental management 

FIGURE 3 – click to enlarge

FIGURE 4 – click to enlarge

What you need to know

Wallarah 2 Coal Project is committed to providing lasting benefits to the local community, while safeguarding residential and environmental amenity and protecting the Central Coast water supply. A list of useful facts under the following categories dispel some of the common misconceptions and myths surrounding the Project:

PROTECTING THE WATER SUPPLY
  • We are committed to protecting the drinking water supplies and managing streams
  • No longwall mining will take place directly beneath Wyong River, nor beneath any major water supply dams, pipelines or other water supply infrastructure
  • Our Project operations are deep below less than 5% of the surface water catchment
  • No surface coal handling will occur in any part of the region’s drinking water catchment
  • There are no productive hard rock aquifers in the Project area
  • The Project will collect, treat and recycle most of the water it uses
  • As there will be no coal preparation plant, water consumption will be greatly reduced
  • Water supply protection is confirmed by findings of the independent expert Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) and Department of Planning & Environment, and the matter has been assessed by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) under Commonwealth Environmental Legislation.
PART OF THE COMMUNITY FOR OVER 25 YEARS AND HERE FOR THE LONG HAUL
    • Since obtaining the Wyong area exploration licences by competitive public tender in 1995, Wallarah 2 has spent about $120 Million to date on exploration, scientific and environmental investigations, land purchases and community support programs
    • We will invest over $800 Million more in initial project development
    • The Project is committed to local employment and is targeting 70% local recruitment for its operations workforce and 10% indigenous employment during operations
    • During peak construction, the Project will generate over 1100 direct and indirect jobs
    • The Project will employ 300 people directly and will generate over 500 more indirect jobs in this region throughout its 28 year operation
    • State wide, the Project operation will continually support around 1700 direct and indirect jobs
    • Wallarah 2 will increase regional business turnover by up to $600 Million every year
    • Every year, the Project will add $69 Million to local household income
    • Over $1.5 Billion will be contributed by the Project to Local, State and Federal Government revenue
A CAREFULLY PLANNED PROJECT
  • Underground mining only – No open cut coal mining
  • One layer of coal 3.5 to 4.5 metres thick will be extracted from a single deep coal seam
  • Coal is the only mineral to be extracted by the underground mining project
  • The coal seam is shallowest in the northeast part of the Project where it lies about 350m beneath the Buttonderry mine access and administration site
  • In the south of the mine plan the 6.5m thick coal seam lies 500 to 550m deep while beneath the western forested hills it is up to 690m below the surface
  • All underground mining will occur in long-established Mine Subsidence Districts administered by Subsidence Advisory NSW
  • Surface facilities locations have been selected to minimise land clearing
  • Surface facilities are separated from residential areas by buffer zones and will be compatible with surrounding current and future land uses and zonings
  • Coal will be conveyed from underground to the Tooheys Rd coal stockpile via a 3.7 km inclined tunnel (or ‘drift’)
  • Coal will be transported to port by rail not by road truck
  • There will be no CHHP (“washplant”) and thus no tailings dams or coal waste emplacements
COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION
  • Residential amenity standards for air quality, noise and health will be maintained
  • The water supply regime will be stringently protected, as agreed by independent experts
  • Wallarah 2 will provide permanent biodiversity conservation offsets much larger than the area of clearing
  • The Project will work with landowners to develop individual property management plans to manage and monitor subsidence effects
  • The independent expert Planning Assessment Commission approved the project on 19 January 2018 following exhaustive review and assessment, including by State agencies and coordinated by the Department of Planning & Environment

Wyong Coal and the Joint Venture Partners

Wyong Coal Pty Limited manages the Wallarah 2 Coal Project on behalf of the Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture. 

The Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture is currently comprised of the following ownership structure:

    • Kores Australia Pty Ltd – 82.25%
    • Centennial Wallarah Pty Ltd – 5.00%
    • Kyungdong Australia Pty Ltd – 4.25%
    • SK Networks Resources Australia (Wyong) Pty Ltd – 4.25%
    • SK Networks Resources Pty Ltd – 4.25%

Planning and Approval Process

The NSW planning approvals process for projects such as Wallarah 2 Coal Project provides ongoing opportunities for community engagement throughout an exhaustive review and assessment process. The Project received development consent from the Planning Assessment Commission in January 2018

The planning and approval process had a number of major formal steps, in relation to the original Development Application (DA) and an Amendment to the DA that resolved a land access constraint.    Following approval, the project will now have further steps in relation to detailed design and feasibility, tendering and construction phases before operations can commence.

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS TO DATE:

Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements: 2012

Lodgement & Exhibition of EIS: 2013

Assessment: 2013 – 2018

Lodgement of Report and Amendment Application: 2016

Exhibition & review of Assessment Report: 2016 – 2018

Determination (Approval): 2018 NSW, 2019 Commonwealth

    • Consent granted by Planning & Assessment Commission on 16/01/2018;
    • Consent granted by Federal Minister Energy & Environment on 18/01/2019;
    • Mining Leases (ML1789 & ML1790) approved on 28/06/2019;
    • Mining Lease (ML1800) approved on 17/03/2020;

CURRENT AND FUTURE PROGRAM

  • Ongoing Stakeholder consultation  <<< WE ARE HERE
  • Final Feasibility Study 2022 – 2023
  • Detailed Design 2023 – 2024
  • Subsidiary approvals and licences – as required by project stage
  • Tendering, construction and employment 2024 – 2027

CLICK HERE to view current and historic planning documents on the Department of Planning & Environment’s website.

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