An information centre will be opened from Wednesday this week where people can learn more about the Rocky Hill Coal Project.

GRL has established a Project Information Centre where people can view documents and talk to the Project team about the proposed plans. The information centre has been set up at 33 Church Street, Gloucester and will be open two days per week from August 24 to September 22. The Project Team will be available from 1pm to 6pm and on Thursdays from 8am to 1pm.

GRL chief operating officer Brian Clifford said the Rocky Hill Coal Project Environmental Impact statement has been amended following community feedback.

“We have worked diligently over a number of years to understand the impacts to the community and to reduce those impacts,” Mr Clifford said.

“We would now encourage people to come in and talk to us about the changes we have made to improve the project and reduce its impact.”

Mr Clifford said amendments made to reduce noise and visual impacts included:

  • No coal handling preparation plant, overland conveyor, rail loop and train load-out facility.
Coal will be taken by sealed, private haul road to an existing processing facilities at the Stratford Mine complex, about 9km from the Rocky Hill site.
  • No night-time mining operations
  • Three open cut pits, one less than previously planned
  • Reduced noise, dust and visual impacts
  • Reduced traffic, with mining equipment entering the site via the Stratford Mining Complex
  • A decrease in maximum annual coal production from 2.5Mt (million tonnes) 2Mt.

Mr Clifford the Environment Protection Authority and other Government agencies had set out strict guidelines for the mine’s operation and GRL would constantly monitor all operations to ensure those criteria were met.

“Our amended EIS commits us to building amenity barriers, reduce operating hours, using alternate transport and reducing the number of pits to reduce the impacts of this project. We are also commited to completing rehabilitation and ensuing a natural-looking land formation at the completion of the project,” Mr Clifford said.

“At the same time we will build new infrastructure, contribute to community projects and provide jobs and education for local people.”

The proposed mine would have a construction stage lasting about one year which will be followed by about 16 years of coal production. A further 3 years will then be needed to fill the final void and complete the remaining rehabilitation activities so the area is returned to its natural appearance and is agriculturally productive.

The Rocky Hill Coal Project would produce about 13Mt of product coal, the majority of which will be coking coal used in the manufacture of steel. It would employ 60 people during construction, and 110 people when fully operational. GRL has committed to 75% of its workforce to be Gloucester and district residents by the end of the third year of the operation.

The proposed project would contribute more than $2 million in upgrades to local roads and intersections, including new Jacks Road bridge. Around $6.5M is expected to be donated to a charitable trust over the life of the Rocky Hill Coal Project. The Community Grants Program will also include provision of university scholarships, trade apprenticeships, enhanced medical services and competency training on mining-related equipment.

“This project will provide jobs and economic benefits for Gloucester and the surrounding area for decades,” Mr Clifford said.

“As part of this project we will improve roads, build a new Jacks Road Bridge, and contribute significant money to a charitable trust to be used for local projects, education and skills development.”

The Amended SSD Application, Revised Environmental Impact Statement and other accompanying documents can be viewed at www.planning.nsw.gov.au or www.rockyhillproject.com.au.