NSW Government clarifies the strategic future of coal exploration and mining in New South Wales

On 24 June 2020 the NSW Government released its ‘Strategic Statement on Coal Exploration and Mining in NSW’ (the Statement), which outlines the Government’s policy position on future coal mining and exploration in New South Wales and aims to provide increased certainty to industry and community stakeholders.

The new policy position recognises the ‘finite lifespan’ of coal as a source of energy. The Statement therefore seeks to balance the decline of the thermal coal industry over the longer term (as a result of the transition to lower carbon sources of energy pursuant to the Paris Agreement) and the near-term opportunity for the NSW coal export industry to meet continuing international demand for thermal coal, generate jobs and royalties, and support regional communities. Continue reading

Climate change impacts used to reject new NSW coal mine

Proponents seeking consent for new projects, or modifications of existing projects, with ‘material’ greenhouse gas emissions across all industries in NSW should carefully assess climate change impacts, particularly if the proposal is not ‘carbon neutral’.

What has happened?

On 8 February 2019, the NSW Land and Environment Court (Court) refused development consent for a new open cut mine near Gloucester, New South Wales.

The Rocky Hill Coal Project (Project) was expected to produce 21 million tonnes of coal over a period of 19 years (including rehabilitation) and support up to 110 jobs during operation and 60 jobs during construction.

https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/latest-thinking/climate-change-impacts-used-to-reject-new-nsw-coal-mine