Providing local jobs for decades to come
The Narrabri underground coal mine has been operating since 2012 and employs around 500 people, most of whom live in the region. The mine is approved to extract coal at a rate of up to 11 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal per annum until 2031. The Stage 3 Extension Project is a proposal to extract coal to the south of the existing mine.
Coal will be mined using the underground longwall mining method already used successfully and safely at the mine, and using the established surface infrastructure, including the existing coal handling preparation plant, rail loop, box cut and offices.
The proposed extension would extend the life of the mine from 2031 to 2044, providing continued employment for hundreds of locals. The Extension would also allow for the socio-economic benefits associated with the mine, including spend with local businesses and royalty payments to the NSW Government, to continue for more than another decade. For more detail, download the fact sheet.
In January 2022, after more than a year of review, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) recommended that the Stage 3 Extension Project is in the public interest and approvable subject to conditions. Read DPIE’s review here.
On 1 April 2022 the Project was approved by the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC).
additional net economic benefit to NSW
jobs continuing for decades
of direct wages into the local community to 2044 (NPV basis)
in additional royalties to the NSW Government
of local supplier spend to 2044 (NPV basis)
of workforce locally‑based
studying the impacts
As part of the comprehensive State and Federal Government assessment process, we’ve carefully studied potential impacts, incorporating feedback from a wide range of stakeholders.
The results of these studies are outlined in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which includes a proposed design for the extension that seeks to avoid, minimise or offset environmental and other impacts. The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) sought public feedback on the proposal in late 2020 and Whitehaven has responded to the questions raised in submissions. In January 2022 DPIE recommended that the Stage 3 Extension Project is in the public interest and approvable subject to conditions.
Designed to minimise impacts
The proposed longwall extensions will occur beneath land owned by Whitehaven and NSW Forestry Corporation. The longwall layout and surface infrastructure have been specifically designed to minimise impacts on features of environmental or cultural significance, which will not be directly impacted, and threatened species’ habitats.
Surface infrastructure would be progressively decommissioned over the life of the Project, with disturbed land to be rehabilitated to the pre-mining land use of agriculture and forestry.
We will use the existing pit top area for coal handling and transport, so no new coal stockpiles, coal handling and preparation plant or rail load out facilities will need to be constructed to access coal to the south of the existing mine.
Respecting the local environment
As detailed in the Environmental Impact Statement, we’ve worked to identify and minimise environmental impacts, including:
- Noise impacts will comply with NSW Government guidelines, or are subject to agreements that are already formed or being negotiated between Whitehaven and relevant landholders.
- Air quality will remain within NSW Government limits at all privately owned receivers.
- The mine has an existing, robust surface water management system that will meet the needs of the Extension Project. The Extension is predicted to have negligible impacts to surface water, including the Namoi River.
- All water use and impacts will be managed in accordance with state and federal Government guidelines.
- Biodiversity impacts would be offset in accordance with NSW and Federal Government guidelines.
- No long-term impact on agricultural production and biophysical strategic agricultural land.
Whitehaven has also committed to purchasing electricity generated by renewable sources or carbon neutral electricity certified by Climate Active across all of its operations, so that Scope 2 GHG emissions for the Extension Project will be reduced and/or offset where reasonable and feasible. This is reflected in the draft conditions of consent prepared by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment available here.
Environmental Management Plans
The Environmental Management Plans have been developed and made available on the website in accordance with NSW Government requirements, however they are not currently active as the Project has not yet commenced.
Environmental Management Strategy7558KB
Stage 3 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan15810KB
Stage 3 Air Quality Management Plan11859KB
Stage 3 Biodiversity Management Plan29937KB
Stage 3 Erosion and Sediment Control Plan12892KB
Stage 3 Groundwater Management Plan6401KB
Stage 3 Noise Management Plan11672KB
Stage 3 Spontaneous Combustion Management Plan7063KB
Stage 3 Site Water Balance8396KB
Stage 3 Surface Water Management Plan11885KB
Stage 3 Traffic Management Plan15645KB
Stage 3 Water Management Plan43528KB