Representatives from Wallarah 2 and Wyong Coal had, at the time of going to press, not responded to questions from the Wyong Regional Chronicle following the controversial decision by the Planning Assessment Commission to recommend approval of the Wallarah 2 underground mine project.
In an attempt to fairly represent the views of Wallarah 2, the following statement has been reproduced from their website. “Wallarah 2 Coal Project is committed to providing lasting benefits to the local community while safeguarding residential amenity and protecting the Central Coast water supply,” the statement read.
“We are committed to protecting the drinking water supplies and managing streams. “No longwall mining will take place directly beneath Wyong River, nor beneath any major water supply dams, pipelines or other water supply infrastructure; our project operations are deep below less than 5 percent of the surface water catchment; no surface coal-handling will occur in any part of the region’s drinking water catchment; there are no productive hard rock aquifers in the project area; and, the project will collect, treat and recycle most of the water it uses. “As there will be no coal preparation plant, water consumption will be greatly reduced.
“Water supply protection is confirmed by findings of the independent expert Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) and the Department of Planning and has been assessed by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) under Commonwealth Legislation. “Since obtaining the Wyong area exploration licences by competitive public tender in 1995, Wallarah 2 has spent about $120m on exploration, scientific and environmental investigations, land purchases and community support. “We will invest over $800m more in initial project development. “The project is committed to local employment and is targeting 70 percent local recruitment for its operations workforce and 10 percent indigenous employment during operations.
“During peak construction, the project will generate over 1,100 direct and indirect jobs. “The project will employ 300 people directly and will generate over 500 more indirect jobs in this region throughout its 28-year operation. “Statewide, the project will continually support over 850 direct and indirect jobs in the region. “Wallarah 2 will increase regional business turnover by up to $600m every year. “Every year, the project will add $69m to local household income. “Over $1.5b will be contributed by the Project to Local, State and Federal revenue. “It will be underground mining only, no open cut coal mining. “One layer of coal 3.5 to 4.5 metres thick will be extracted from a single deep coal seam. “Coal is the only mineral to be extracted.
“The coal seam is shallowest in the northeast part of the project where it lies about 350 metres beneath the Buttonderry mine access and administration site. “In the south of the mine plan, the 6.5m thick coal seam lies 500 to 550 metres deep, while beneath the western forested hills, it is up to 690 metres below the surface. “All underground mining will occur in long-established Mine Subsidence Districts. “Surface facilities locations have been selected to minimise land clearing. “Surface facilities are separated from residential areas by buffer zones and will be compatible with surrounding current and future land uses. “Coal will be conveyed from underground to the Tooheys Rd coal stockpile via a 3.7 km tunnel (or ‘drift’). “Coal will be transported to port by rail. “There will be no CHHP washplant and thus no tailings dams or coal waste emplacements. “Residential amenity standards for air quality, noise and health will be maintained. “The water supply regime will be stringently protected. “Wallarah 2 will provide permanent biodiversity conservation offsets much larger than the area of clearing.
“The Project will work with landowners to develop individual property management plans to manage and monitor subsidence. “Both the independent Planning Assessment Commission and the Department of Planning have recommended that the project be approved. “Exploration, mine planning and environmental investigations have defined significant coal resources beneath both the western areas, including Yarramalong and Dooralong Valleys, Wyong and Olney State Forests, Jilliby State Conservation Area SCA and surrounding ranges. “The Wallarah 2 Coal Project intends to seek approval to mine under parts of the western area for a period of 28 years.” The website also explains the Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture ownership structure. “Wyong Coal Pty Ltd manages the Wallarah 2 Coal Project on behalf of the Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture.
“The Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture is currently comprised of Kores Australia Pty Ltd, 82.25 percent; Sojitz Coal Resources Pty Ltd, 5.00 per cent; Kyungdong Australia Pty Ltd, 4.25 per cent; SK Networks Resources Australia (Wyong) Pty Ltd, 4.25 per cent; and, SK Networks Resources Pty Ltd, 4.25 per cent.” The Wyong Chronicle has done a base investigation into the dealings and history of these business entities using data compiled by business and market software company, Bloomberg. Based on these profiles, The Wyong Chronicle understands that Kores Australia Pty Ltd is based in North Sydney and is a child company to the Korea Resources Corporation.
Sojitz Coal Resources Pty Ltd is a Brisbane based Australian subsidiary to Japanese company, Sojitz Corporation. Kyungdong Australia Pty Ltd is based in Sydney and the Wyong Regional Chronicle could not find any other information regarding its operations. Kyungdong Australia Pty Ltd has no website nor could the Chronicle find any contact information besides a postal address. SK Networks Resources Australia (Wyong) Pty Ltd is also based in Sydney and is listed as a coal mining service.
SK Networks Resources Australia Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of South Korean trading giant, SK Networks LTD. SK Networks Resources Australia Pty Ltd is based in Sydney and they are an energy trader with an interest in oil and gas exploration. Wallarah 2 will host community consultation sessions on February 28 at the Wallarah 2 Office, Tuggerah and March 28 at Doyalson RSL Club. Sessions will run for approximately one hour. The Wyong Regional Chronicle will continue to seek further comment from Wallarah 2 and Wyong Coal as the Project develops.
Source: Website, Jan 22 “What you need to know” statement, Wallarah 2 Project History, Ownership Breakdown Data, Wallarah 2 Coal Project Bloomberg business profiles: Kores Australia, Sojitz Coal Resources, Kyungdong Australia, SK Networks Resources Australia (Wyong), SK Networks Resources Australia Dilon Luke, Journalist