Angus Place Colliery

From Global Energy Monitor

Angus Place Colliery is owned and operated by Centennial Coal, a subsidiary of the Thai coal company, Banpu. The mine is located 5km to the east of the Mt Piper Power Station, which is owned by Delta Electricity.[1]

Location

The map below shows the exact location of the Anglesea mine in Victoria, south-eastern Australia.

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Project Details

  • Sponsor: Centennial Angus Place[2]
  • Parent Company: 50% Centennial Springvale Pty Ltd and 50% Springvale SK Kores Pty[2]
  • Location: located 15 kilometres to the northwest of the regional city of Lithgow and 120 kilometres west northwest of Sydney in New South Wales[3]
  • GPS Coordinates: -33.3517168,150.0951504 (exact)
  • Status: put on care and maintenance in 2015[4]
  • Production Capacity: 4 mtpa[2]
  • Total Resource:
  • Mineable Reserves: 30 Mt[5]
  • Coal type: thermal[3]
  • Mine Size: 10,460 ha[6]
  • Mine Type: underground[3]
  • Start Year: 1979[2]
  • Source of Financing:

Background

There has been mining at Angus Place Colliery for nearly 70 years.[4] Angus Place Colliery commenced production in 1979, after being developed as an extension of the Newcom Mine at Kerosene Vale.[7] At this time it was owned by the NSW Government, with Centennial Coal purchasing the mine in 2002 as part of the ‘Powercoal acquisition’ from NSW.[7]

Coal was extracted from the Lithgow seam using longwall mining techniques, and, during Centennial Coal’s ownership, taken to the Wallerawang and Mount Piper power stations.[4]

In March 2015, mining operations at Angus Place Colliery halted due to a “prolonged downturn in international coal markets,” and the mine was placed under care and maintenance, according to an article from the Lithgow Mercury.[8] The Lithgow Mercury also reported that Centennial Coal planned to reopen Angus Place in 2023, when the reserves from a nearby mine were exhausted, or earlier if possible.

In a September 2019 article by the Lithgow Mercury, Centennial Coal reasserted that they planned to reopen the Angus Place Colliery eventually.[9]

Angus Mine Extension Project and Community Opposition

Since 2012, Centennial Coal has been considering an extension of the Angus Place Colliery to the east of the original mine area.[7]

In 2019, Centennial Coal began reviving discussions about reopening the colliery and the extension project. A December 2019 Amendment Report to the original Angus Place Mine Extension Project proposed extending the life of the mine until 2053, while the current project would expire in August 2024.[6] The extension would increase the extraction rate up to 4.5 million tonnes per annum of ROM coal from the Lithgow Seam, an increase from 4 million tonnes per annum from the original mine area of Angus Place Colliery.

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness opposed this extension. In a post encouraging citizens to make public comment opposing the extension, the organization wrote some reasons for their opposition.[10]

“The Alliance strongly objects to the proposed grandfathering this mine consent until 2053, as if there was no climate emergency and coal-fired electricity was safe,” they wrote. “The proposal seeks more intensive coal mining than in the original 2014 proposal. Unless drastically amended the mine extension will seriously damage core values of the Gardens of Stone region.”[10]

In particular, activists worry that coal mining at Angus Place Colliery has a detrimental impact on the Gardens of Stone, an Australian national park located near the Angus Place Colliery and at least 4 other coal mines.[5] The park is home to many geological wonders, such as sandstone pinnacles known locally as “pagodas,” narrow canyons, rock arches, cave overhangs and sandstone peninsulas.[5] Activists are concerned that underground coal mining brings about land subsidence, which can lead to ”cliff falls, the draining of headwater streams, detrimental alterations to surface water chemistry, the deterioration of nationally significant and endangered upland swamps and widespread surface cracking,” according to a report by the The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd.[5]

Continuing, the post added that “the supplementary assessment for this mine proposal omits consideration of far-field mining impacts on the Wolgan River and its swamps. The Wolgan Lineament Field is located west and adjacent to the mine area, and this field will be reactivated during mining. When the Wolgan Lineament Field is reactivated, the Wolgan River shall be drained, just as the other streams on Newnes Plateau affected by far field groundwater impacts have. These impacts have been found to extend over one kilometer from mining operations.”[10]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. "Operations & Community: Angus Place/ Springvale JV", Centennial Coal website, accessed May 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Resource Assessment for the Sydney Basin bioregion, Australian Government website, accessed April 2020
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 [Angus Place and Springvale Mine Extension Projects: Response to Response to Submissions], Centennial Coal website, December 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Angus Place, Centennial Coal website, accessed April 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Keith Muir, [https://www.habitatadvocate.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Impact_of_coal_mining_on_GoS2_Colong2010.pdf The Impact of Coal Mining on the Gardens of Stone], The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd, March 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 Amendment Report: Angus Place Mine Extension Project, NSW Government planning portal, December 6, 2019
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Angus Place Mine Extension Project", Centennial Coal, September 2012
  8. "Closure of Angus Place Colliery means devastating job losses for Lithgow", The Lithgow Mercury, October 28, 2014
  9. "Mt Piper: Springvale facing "geological challenges" to coal supply", The Lithgow Mercury, September 4, 2019
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Amended Angus Place Mine Extension Project - write an objection to the Planning Department, Colong Foundation for Wilderness, accessed April 2020

External Articles

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