The NSW Independent Planning Commission has today conditionally approved the proposed McPhillamys Gold Project, a greenfield gold mine located approximately 8 km north-east of Blayney, straddling the boundary of the Blayney and Cabonne local government areas (LGAs).
LFB Resources NL (Applicant), a wholly owned subsidiary of Regis Resources, sought development consent to establish the open cut gold mine and associated 90 km water supply pipeline through the Blayney, Bathurst and Lithgow LGAs to provide supplementary water to the mine from the Springvale Coal Pty Limited facility near Lithgow. The mine will extract up to 60.8 million tonnes of ore and produce up to 2 million ounces of gold over 11 years of mining operations.
The Department of Planning and Environment completed its whole-of-government assessment of the McPhillamys Gold Project in November last year. The three-member Commission Panel, comprising Dr Peter Williams, Professor Neal Menzies and Ms Clare Sykes, met with key stakeholders and conducted a site inspection. They received over 1,000 public submissions and held a public hearing in early February 2023. The Panel has today, 30 March 2023, determined to grant development consent to the Project, subject to conditions.
“The Commission finds that on balance, the Project is in the public interest” and that the “application is consistent with the Objects of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979” the Commission’s Statement of Reasons for Decision reads.
The Commission noted the strategic benefits of the gold mine in “produc[ing] a significant mineral resource to meet the growing demand for raw metals”, finding that “the positive impacts resulting from the Project – including employment, training, investment and additional economic activity – will outweigh the negative impacts”.
The Commission acknowledged concerns raised by stakeholders about social and amenity impacts including visual, air quality, noise and vibration impacts, and impacts on water resources, Aboriginal cultural heritage, biodiversity and agriculture. The Commission found that these impacts could be effectively avoided, minimised or offset through the strict conditions of consent imposed by the Commission.
The Applicant will be required to prepare and implement a range of comprehensive management plans and report on mitigation measures, monitoring results and compliance with performance criteria on an ongoing basis to ensure value and benefits to the community in which it will operate.
The Panel acknowledges the efforts of the local community in writing submissions and presenting at the public hearing. Their input allowed the Panel to make a fully informed decision and apply appropriate conditions of consent.
All the documents relating to the assessment and determination of this proposal can be found on the Commission’s website: https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/cases/2022/11/mcphillamys-gold-project
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