Wilpinjong marks 10 years

COMMUNITY WORK: General manager of Wilpinjong, Blair Jackson, contributing to the Life Skills fundraiser – Chain of Coins - in 2015, one of the initiatives he said the mine has supported in its 10 years.

COMMUNITY WORK: General manager of Wilpinjong, Blair Jackson, contributing to the Life Skills fundraiser – Chain of Coins - in 2015, one of the initiatives he said the mine has supported in its 10 years.

Wilpinjong have looked back on their first 10 years ahead of the public hearing for their extension project next week.

Blair Jackson has been the General Manager at Wilpinjong mine for the last three years, said that a decade is “a pretty significant milestone for us for continuous operation”.

“Through that time we’ve been delivering high quality thermal coal to AGL, who generate 10-15 per cent of NSW’s electricity which is for roughly a million people,” he said.

“We have over 300 direct Peabody employees working at the mine,  we paid almost $43-million in wages and salaries to people – many of whom live and shop locally.

“We spent $21.7 million buying goods and services from 122 local businesses. Local is within 80km of our mine so includes Mudgee area.”

Mr Jackson highlighted their “continuing with the commitments we’ve got locally which are all part of our social licence to operate”.

“This is through local donations and organisations that we support, one example would be the Rural Fire Service (RFS) in and around Wollar through the Cooks Gap Brigade,” he said.

“Our commitment to the local area is ongoing and there’s a multitude of charitable events that we support.

“The most recent one – as many would be familiar with – is Pink Up Mudgee, where we raised over $10,000 for that cause.

“And coming up there’s the Carols in Mudgee, that’s been an ongoing commitment for a few years now.

“We also paid $10-million in royalties to the NSW Government.”

The Wilpinjong Extension Project is currently before the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.

“We call it an extension because the ROM (Run-of-Mine) tons stay the same, it’s not an increase on what the mine is up to it’s an extension of life which is seven years,” Mr Jackson said.

“It will give us access to another approximately 100-million tons, which covers an area of about 800Ha.”

The public hearing will be held at 10am on Tuesday at the Town Hall Theatre. “We are looking forward to contributing to the PAC process,” he added.

“This is an opportunity for the community to have their say whether they are for or against the project. If individuals wish to protest, I respect that.”

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