The federal minister for the environment has approved Whitehaven Coal’s Vickery Extension Project in New South Wales under the commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). Whitehaven welcomed the EPBC approval, which represents the culmination of an exhaustive process of technical evaluation and stakeholder consultation at both the state and federal levels spanning five years. This included a period of public exhibition administered by the New South Wales Department of Planning and the Environment, which elicited 560 public submissions, 62% of which called for the project to be approved in recognition of the substantial local economic benefits it offered, among other things.
The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission approved the project in August 2020.
Against the current backdrop of record high coal prices and strong demand in seaborne markets, the company sees a continuing role for high-quality coal of the type Vickery will produce in contributing to global CO2 emissions reduction and containment efforts while simultaneously supporting economic development in the near region. Further information on the role high-quality coal can play in the global energy transition is available in Whitehaven’s Sustainability Report 2021 at whitehavencoal.com.au/sustainability-report-2021.
Major employment-generating investments will be essential as the Australian economy continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.