The public meeting in Aberdeen has caused a stir with a member of the committee ambushing a representative from the Dartbrook mine with an unseen document.
The Aberdeen Action Group called the meeting and invited mining representatives along to discuss coal mining in the area. Anglo America’s Dartbook Mine stakeholder engagement specialist Matt Frodsham was called upon to address the audience.
He said he had told the action group all the information he knew about Dartbrook’s plan to recommence mining.
“Since 2007 Dartbrook has been in care and maintenance mode,” he said. “It continues to be in that mode.
“It is a fact that there is a lot of coal at Dartbrook and we are working on an exploration report. This report will be due out next year.”
He then went on to explain that it would take at least five years to get the mine off the ground if Dartbrook decided to proceed with the project.
MC for the meeting, Kiwa Fisher, then produced a document he said he had found on the internet and said it forecasted mining to start in 2015.
“I don’t want to ambush you but it says here in the presentation to London Investors that mining will start in 2015,” Mr Fisher said.
Mr Frodsham reiterated Dartbrook was awaiting an exploration report and from the time the report was released to the time a mine could start operation would be at least five years.
He denied knowing anything about plans to mine earlier and
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was unsure where Mr Fisher was getting his information.
Muswellbrook Coal general manager John Furner was then given the opportunity to speak about Muswellbrook Coal’s plans in the Aberdeen area.
He explained Muswellbrook Coal had an authorisation lease west of Mount Pleasant.
This lease is one third in the Upper Hunter shire, two thirds in the Muswellbrook shire.
“We have drilled bore holes and have conducted a prefeasibility study,” Mr Furner said.
“The timeline, subject to approval, would not be until 2019.”
Coal and Allied Mount Pleasant representative Jen Bocock did not attend the meeting and sent an apology.
Upper Hunter Shire Council mayor Lee Watts acknowledged it was inevitable there would be mining in the area.
“We are getting ready; I believe there are strategies in place to cater for the development when it happens,” Cr Watts said.