MAC: Mines and Communities

Mining process may be listed as an environmental threat

Published by MAC on 2005-04-22

Mining process may be listed as an environmental threat

ABC Newsnet

April 22, 2005

A proposal to list longwall mining as a process which threatens the environment will come before a New South Wales independent scientific committee next week.

Longwall operations began at the Dendrobium coal mine, at Mount Kembla, west of Wollongong this morning, and there are plans for an expansion of an existing mine at Appin.

If longwall mining is listed as a 'key threatening process', mining companies would have to propose ways to reduce the impact on endangered species.

At Dendrobium, BHP Biliton overcame resistance by agreeing to pay three cents a tonne into a local community fund.

In the underground mining, when supports are removed, the collapse affects the water table and can cause cracking on the surface.

The scientific committee's preliminary determination says longwall mining has damaged creeks in the Hunter and six catchments in the Illawarra and southern coalfields.

The committee closed submissions three months ago and will again consider the listing next week.

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