PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission has given consent for ASX-listed Whitehaven Coal’s Vickery Extension project.
The A$700-million project has been cleared to extract a maximum of 13-million tonnes a year run-of-mine coal, over a 25-year mine life, with Whitehaven allowed to transport 11.5-million tonnes of coal from the site by rail in any financial year.
The project is expected to employ some 500 staff during construction and 450 ongoing operational roles.
Whitehaven MD and CEO Paul Flynn on Wednesday welcomed the approval and told shareholders that the Vickery project would further cement Whitehaven’s growing stature as a key supplier to premium overseas markets.
He said the company’s focus would now shift to obtaining the necessary secondary approvals and any further project optimisation as a precursor to works starting under the new approval.
Whitehaven in June told shareholders that it was cautious in allocating capital to expansion, considering the evolving impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on coal markets and pricing. However, the miner noted on Wednesday that while there was still considerable risk and uncertainties for the global economic outlook, the fundamentals of the company’s business model continued to remain robust.