Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Mine lock out - Centennial tries to force Government’s hand

Centennial Coal is trying to force the Government’s hand over the proposed 13 year mine-extension at its Springvale mine.

“It appears as though Centennial Coal is trying blackmail both the State and Federal Government through a mine lock out during final negotiations over a proposed mine extension,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“Yesterday Centennial Coal announced it will stand down workers at the Springvale mine at the end of next week, and most have been forced to take compulsory leave*.  This action follows close at the heels of calls by the Mineral Council of green groups’ sabotage in relation to this mine (Lithgow Mercury August 8, 2015).  Government must not cave into these games but ensure adequate environmental protection is achieved,” Mr Muir said.

“Centennial has been caught out discharging 23 million litres a day to the Coxs River from Springvale mine right now, when it told the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) its maximum discharge would be 19 million litres a day”, said Mr Muir.

“Centennial wants approval to build mine infrastructure that can pump 50 million litres a day and said last week it plans to discharge a further 19 million litres a day from its Clarence mine through the Springvale mine.  Centennial’s mine effluent discharge numbers don’t add up,” he said.

“Centennial should be subject to thorough investigation as it why it has apparently misled the PAC over its plans to discharge much more mine effluent into the Coxs River than the PAC assessed that the mine would discharge”, Mr Muir said.

“The proposals to protect 29 nationally endangered swamps also have not been adequately considered,” he said.

“Centennial’s response to these environmental concerns is to play the ‘jobs versus the environment' card.  The issue is about adequate environmental management and protection for a World Heritage Area, the Coxs River, our drinking water supplies and national heritage.  This is not a ‘jobs versus environment’ issue, and such games suggest that Centennial Coal has something to hide”, said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)