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Proposal Outline

Bickham Coal Company is committed to keeping you informed. This outline provides a project overview, details of studies undertaken and how to contact the team if you have any questions or comments.

In 2002 Bickham Coal Company purchased a property in South Bickham located approximately 12 kilometres south-east of Murrurundi. The site covers 1154 ha and is bordered on the west by the New England Highway and the Main Northern Railway.

Bickham Coal Company currently holds licences for exploration where an open cut reserve, with a potential 45-50 million tonnes of low-ash thermal coal, had been identified. Between June 2004 and February 2005 Bickham Coal Company extracted a 25,000 tonne sample of coal from the site. This activity was accompanied by comprehensive environmental management controls.

Following on from this sample extraction Bickham Coal Company have undertaken further studies and revised the mine plan (see map below) which now indicates that there is a potential for mining 36 million tonnes of saleable coal.

Map of Mine Plan

Planning and Approval Process
The Bickham Coal Project is classified as a major infrastructure project under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Projects) 2005. As such, an environmental assessment of the project is required to be undertaken in accordance with the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The three main stages of the environmental assessment process are:

  • Preparation of the environmental assessment
  • Lodgement, exhibition, consultation & review
  • Assessment & decision by the Minister for Planning

The planning and approval process is a comprehensive process and will take place over a period of time. The flow of this process is shown in the chart below.

The Planning & Approval ProcessIn accordance with the recommendations of the 2005 NSW Government report on Coal Mining Potential in the Upper Hunter Valley (2005), Bickham Coal Company is undertaking detailed investigations of potential water resource impacts of the project.

Water Resource Assessment
The water resource studies will involve investigations on and beyond the proposed site as set out in the revised plan. These will include:

  • Ground and surface water responses to open cut mining;
  • The impact on the Pages River catchment and sub-catchments;
  • The impact on ground and surface water
    quality and quantity;
  • Preparation of a water management plan.

Bickham Coal Company has commissioned a highly qualified team to undertake the water resource studies. A report comprising of a water resource assessment and a life-of-mine water management plan are being prepared by this team and will be placed on public exhibition when submitted to the Department of Planning. The Department of Planning will ask an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel to assess and make recommendations on the report after accepting submissions from the public.

Note: As a result of the preliminary findings the mine site has been reduced and the final studies will be based on this revised mine plan.

coal company

PO Box 470 Rutherford
NSW 2320
Phone: 02 4932 3200
Fax: 02 4932 3266