Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Running Stream CCC November meeting notes

RSWUA secretary, Jolieske Lips, recorded the following notes at the recent CCC meeting.

Because of the drop in coal prices and international demand, Centennial is reviewing all its
operations with following ramifications:

  • There has been no drilling in the Inglenook project since the hole at Round Swamp and
  • only limited drilling is planned for 2015.
  • Centennial now has only five operating mines (previously 11).
  • Angus Place mine has been placed into care and maintenance, and unless coal prices improve, won’t open again till 2023, when Springvale mine is due to finish. Of the 268 workers there, about 100 have been relocated to Springvale or Clarence, 2-3 will continue at Angus Place to caretake, and the rest have been made redundant. Voluntary redundancies have been offered at Springvale and Clarence to try and create more positions for Angus Place workers.
  • All support staff positions (ie those not actually working in a mine) are under review and there are likely to be cuts.

Inglenook:
  • The REF was for 28 drill sites, but only 18 have been drilled so far (with a total of 27 bore holes as some sites had additional monitoring holes, and some bore holes had to be re-drilled because of collapses).
  • The Department has accepted a Change of Work Program (ie Centennial ended up doing only 18 sites, not the 28 proposed under their original exploration licence, so the lesser number has been accepted).
  • Application has been made for renewal of the exploration licences (which expire Dec 2014 and Jan 2015), with 45 boreholes planned – more holes may be needed (to define geological features, intrusions, faulting etc).
  • Drill site rehabilitation has been signed off.
  • Expired monitoring agreements have been extended.
  • There are ongoing access agreement negotiations for environmental monitoring and drilling activities.
  • Surface and groundwater monitoring continues quarterly.
  • A Community Newsletter will be distributed shortly (we saw the draft).

Esme Martens (who is now the MWRC rep as well as a community rep) reported that MWRC were developing an urban release program based on a consultant’s report, which mentioned Inglenook would be operating by 2021 and asked Centennial about this. Centennial denied having any start date. There was some discussion as to where the consultant would have got this information – possibly from an outdated company prospectus painting a rosy picture for investors.

Related to the above topic, there was some discussion of possible new mines in the area, noting that Mt Penny, although mentioned in the above consultant’s report, has had its exploration licence cancelled and that Bylong has gone through the Gateway process. This process does not allow for shutting the gate on any proposed mines, but only for imposing conditions. It was noted that so far the PAC has actually refused two mines: the Coalpak one at Cullen Bullen and one in the Hunter (thanks to the power of the horse breeding industry). There is hope yet we may be able to save our water!

Centennials own draft minutes of this CCC meeting are available on their website.

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