PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The New South Wales Court of Appeal this week upheld a decision barring South Korean firm Kepco from building its proposed Bylong coal mine.
The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission (IPC) in 2019 refused development approval for the proposed 6.5-million tonne a year Bylong coal project, saying at the time that the project was not in the best interest of the public, despite its possible economic and social benefits.
The proposed project would consist of both an opencut and underground operation with a mine life of more than 25 years, extracting around 120-million tonnes of coal.
The project was expected to create 650 jobs during construction and a further 450 during operations.
Kepco in late 2019 applied for judicial review of the IPC decision, and the judicial review was heard in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court in August 2020 and in December 2020, which resulted in Kepco’s appeal being rejected.
The South Korean firm lodged a further appeal against the New South Wales Land and Environment Court decision in March 2021 and was heard by the New South Wales Court of Appeal on August 25.
“We are delighted for our clients, the Bylong Valley Protection Alliance, who have once again successfully argued for the rejection of this mine and defended their beautiful valley,” Environmental Defenders Office managing lawyer Rana Koroglu said on Tuesday.
“Our evidence before the IPC hearing was compelling and robust. We presented testimony from over a dozen expert witnesses and put the latest scientific evidence before the Commission.
“The IPC made its decision based on that evidence, finding that this coal mine is not in the public interest. Two subsequent appeals have thoroughly tested and supported the IPC’s decision to refuse the mine.”