Colton mine in limbo as company awaits govt approvals
THE Colton coal mine has gone into a holding pattern, with equipment removed from the site while the company awaits government approvals.
Northern Energy Corporation (NEC) expected a decision on its environmental management plan in February past, with a view to opening the mine early next year.
But the environment department sought more information about biodiversity offsets before delivering its response.
Approval has still not been granted.
"The EMP is still being considered by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection," a NEC representative said.
Earthworks machinery and shipping containers have been removed from the 1000-hectare site as exploration has been put on hold, but the company's website is still accepting job applications.
"Exploration has been curtailed as the company had reached a natural holding point in the exploration programs whilst project approvals were being processed," the representative said.
"(Parent company) New Hope is still progressing work to obtain a mining lease."
If the mine is approved, the company expects to mine about five million tonnes of coking coal over eight to 10 years.