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Whitehaven Coal proposes extension to Maules Creek mine

Mining company Whitehaven Coal has launched a bid to expand and extend operations at its controversial Maules Creek Mine, near Narrabri in north western NSW.

ABC New England / By Max Tillman Posted Tue 6 Jun 2023 at 6:05pm

If the plan is approved by the state government, the mine will remain operational for nine years beyond the end of its current lease in 2034 and mine an extra million tonnes of coal per year.

Whitehaven has not proposed to mine land outside its existing tenement.

The move has drawn the ire of ACT Senator and former Wallaby David Pocock, who chained himself to an excavator for more than 10 hours alongside fifth generation farmer Rick Laird when work first started on the mine.

"It just seemed like the most ridiculous mine, in one of our food bowls," Senator Pocock said on Tuesday.

He said Whitehaven was banking on climate inaction.

"This is a company that doesn't seem to have a credible transition plan [to net-zero]," he said.

Whitehaven Coal was fined $150,000 when it pleaded guilty to polluting water near the Maules Creek mine in the Land and Environment Court in 2022.

Maules Creek Ros Druce said she had been opposed to the mine since construction first began in 2014.

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