Setback for Dartbrook coal mine plan in Hunter

A coal venture backed by pearling magnate Nick Paspaley and Northern Territory property developer John “Foxy” Robinson has had a setback in its plans to reopen a mine in the Hunter Valley thoroughbred region.

The Australian is reporting Australia Pacific Coal has had a proposal for a five-year extension of its Dartbrook mine knocked back by the NSW Independent Planning Commission.

APC’s plans attracted strong opposition from the powerful horse studs, which argued another coal mine could damage the thoroughbred industry.

While the request to extend the Dartbrook operation approval beyond the current expiry date of December 5, 2022 was denied, the planning commission did approve plans to switch from a longwall mining method to a bord-and-pillar approach.

But it remains to be seen whether the scaled-back approval will be enough to convince APC to push ahead with the reopening, given the company had previously stated the five-year extension was needed to justify the capital expenditure for the mine’s restart.

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