Environmental Impact Statement
Plan for the Future
For 85 years, Illawarra Metallurgical Coal has produced high-quality metallurgical coal used for steelmaking, which is shipped around Australia and around the world.
The Dendrobium Mine in the Illawarra region of New South Wales is an existing underground mine, primarily producing metallurgical coal for steelmaking.
We are seeking approval for the continuation of mining activities in Dendrobium’s next two underground mining areas, within the existing Dendrobium mining lease.
The Project would maintain the current approved annual production rate of 5.2 million tonnes per annum run-of-mine while supporting the ongoing employment of 500 people, continued opportunities for reliant Illawarra businesses, and the sustained supply of high-quality metallurgical coal for steelmaking to local and international customers.
history in the illawarra
employees and contractors
employees living locally
paid to local business in fy19
Dendrobium began operating in 2002 as an underground longwall mine and remains an essential supplier to Australian steelmakers, including BlueScope Port Kembla Steelworks and Liberty Primary Steel Whyalla Steelworks.
If approved, the Project would continue to deliver strong economic benefits for the local community, sustaining the positive contribution Illawarra Metallurgical Coal has made for 85 years.
The Project would support the continued employment of 500 people working at Dendrobium mine, create an additional 200 jobs during the construction phase, contribute A$714 million in rates, royalties and taxes, and deliver a net economic benefit of A$2.8 billion to NSW.
ongoing full-time jobs
jobs during construction
NET ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO NSW
local net economic benefit
A Development Application supported by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in 2019.
The EIS was developed through extensive consultation with our stakeholders and examined the environmental characteristics of the Project including ground and surface water, air quality and emissions, noise, traffic, heritage and biodiversity.
We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and understand the sensitivities of working within the Metropolitan Special Area. The proposed mine design has been developed to avoid sensitive surface features and continues our commitment not to longwall mine under dams, named watercourses and key stream features.
Water Monitoring Devices in catchment areas
Water Samples Collected since 2005
coal left unmined to protect surface features
mining experience in local catchment areas
Metallurgical coal is an essential raw material used in the steelmaking process, and for 85 years Illawarra Metallurgical Coal (IMC) has supplied this critical ingredient to its customers.
Coal mining and steelmaking in the Illawarra are strongly linked. One of the primary reasons a steelworks was established at Port Kembla a little over 90 years ago, was the ready access to rich seams of metallurgical coal and a deep-water port.
The BlueScope Steelworks at Port Kembla is the largest steel production facility in Australia, and one of only two primary iron and steelmaking facilities in Australia. It consumes approximately 3 million tonnes of coal each year, of which around 60% is supplied by Illawarra Metallurgical Coal.
steelmaking established at port kembla
annual steel production at Port Kembla Steelworks
kilograms of coal used for every tonne of steel
kilograms of steel contained in the average car
We have committed to implement or fund works that would result in a net gain for the metropolitan water supply, to offset or replace the volume of surface water that would be impacted by subsidence from the Project.
Options include water filtration infrastructure, to treat water for industrial use; incorporation into the existing recycled water network; and investment in reducing existing network losses (i.e. pipe leaks or natural evaporation), unrelated to mining.
We are currently consulting with stakeholders on how we can best deliver this commitment.
In February 2020, South32 lodged the ‘Response to Submissions’, providing a comprehensive response to feedback on the Project’s Environmental Impact Statement.
A total of 775 submissions were received from government agencies, organisations and members of the public. The majority of public submissions were positive, with 81% made in support of the Project.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will continue to consult with South32, government agencies, industry and the community while it undertakes its ‘whole of government’ assessment.Following this, it is expected the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces will refer the Project to the Independent Planning Commission for determination.