Whitehaven Coal’s Vickery Extension Project will be a predominantly metallurgical coal mine. (Photo: Whitehaven Coal)

The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Planning Commission (IPC) gave Whitehaven Coal the greenlight for its Vickery Extension Project near Gunnedah, in the Australian state’s northwest. The primary approval follows a lengthy technical evaluation process for the project and a comprehensive program of community consultation and outreach, including a multistage public hearing administered by the IPC during February 2019 and July 2020.

Managing Director and CEO Paul Flynn welcomed the news and said Vickery would further cement Whitehaven’s growing stature as a key supplier to premium overseas markets.

Whitehaven’s focus will now shift to obtaining the necessary secondary approvals and any further project optimization as a precursor to works commencing under the new approval.

Vickery will be a predominantly metallurgical coal mine, which will eventually require a capital investment of approximately $700 million.