Stratford mine ready to start digging

STRATFORD mine operators Yancoal have submitted an application to start excavating a new pit ahead of a public hearing into whether the mine should be expanded.

“(The) application ... covers part of the proposed Avon North pit, which is one of the pits comprising the proposed Stratford extension project,” the acting general manager of Stratford Coal Roger Biddle said.

“It is standard practice in the industry to lodge relevant applications for mining leases in advance of final planning determination of a development application.”

The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) will hold a public hearing at the Gloucester Soldiers Club on February 19 to hear from the many people that made a submission on the proposed expansion of the Stratford mine. 

Groups and individuals can register to address the PAC and the hearing will continue on February 20 if large numbers of registrations are received.

Mr Biddle said the draft conditions of consent for the mine’s expansion released by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure late last year did not mean the extension project had been approved.

“No approvals have been granted as yet,” he said.

“It will be up to the PAC to decide the application. The draft conditions of consent ... have not been approved.”

Following the public hearing the PAC will make a final recommendation to the Department and the Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts. 

Roger Biddle at Stratford coal mine.

Roger Biddle at Stratford coal mine.