New South Wales Government buys back BHP mine licence for Liverpool plains

By Dale Benton
$220m, thats the money the New South Wales government has paid for the mining licence that BHP has for the fertile farming regions of the Liverpool plai...

$220m, that’s the money the New South Wales government has paid for the mining licence that BHP has for the fertile farming regions of the Liverpool plains. The government has also said it is in negotiation with the Shenhua coalmine to purchase its mine licence as well.

The mining giant BHP had planned to develop and underground coalmine at Caroona, next to the Shenhua Watermark open cut coalmine. In its listed 30-year mining life, the coalmine would have looked to produce 260m tonnes of coal.

After careful consideration, the NSW government has determined that coalmining under these highly fertile black soil plains, as proposed by Labor, poses too great a risk for the future of this food bowl and the underground water sources that support it,” the NSW premier, Mike Baird, said in a statement on Thursday night.

“This decision guarantees the future of the state’s most productive and fertile farming land, providing confidence for local farmers to invest in an industry that has the potential to be one of the food bowls of the world.”

The deputy premier, Troy Grant, said: “The Liverpool plains black soil is one of our most precious resources and today we have taken this major step to secure its long-term future.”

The NSW Greens resources and energy spokesman, Jeremy Buckingham, says the NSW Greens resources sights are now set on the Shenhua mine.

“The next step must be the cancellation of the neighbouring Shenhua Watermark mine which continues to threaten the Liverpool plains, as well as Kepco’s Bylong project and Hume Coal’s Berrima proposal,” Buckingham said.

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