A meeting in Muswellbrook was held today to discuss a proposal posed to extend the life of the Mount Pleasant open-cut coal mine forward another six years.

The mine, which was approved for operation from 1999, was set to wrap up activity by the year 2020.

However, residents around the Mount Pleasant and Muswellbrook area are raising concerns against the extension of mining operations due to the on-going effects chemicals from the mined substances have on the population’s health and environmental conditions.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), as well as The Department of Health has also raised concerns about the deterioration of air quality around the region, along with the future quality of conditions of the Hunter River, as the mine decides to discharge dirty water into the catchment.

Image sourced:

The discharge has the potential to affect drinking water standards, where pollution may run through available tap water.

If plans to extend the mine’s operations, production could see almost 60-million tonnes worth of coal being extracted over the given six cycle.

Coordinator for the Denman Aberdeen Muswellbrook Scone Healthy Environment Group, Wendy Wales, says the community is in need of some consideration to sit a comfortable lifestyle.

“It doesn’t feel as if the NSW Government cares at all about air pollution and its effect on us, so we are appealing to the Planning Commission to demonstrate its independence and refuse to approve this modification”, she says.

Wales believes mine activity does not comply well with the weather conditions around the Muswellbrook area.

“We’ve had an incredibly hot summer and now we’re really seeing the consequences with all the mining activity that has happened in the area and with heavy winds blowing up Mount Pleasant is just a recipe for disaster”, Wales says.

Image sourced: