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State Significant Development


Mount Pleasant Optimisation Project

Muswellbrook Shire

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Extend the life of the open cut operation by mining deeper coal seams, using existing and proposed new infrastructure.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

Notice of Exhibition (3 Feb 2021)

Request for SEARs (2)

Scoping Report (December 2019)
SIA Scoping Report (December 2019)

SEARs (13)

Supplementary SEARs (08.10.2020) Cover Letter
MPO SEARs Clarification
Supplementary SEARs (08.10.2020)
Issued SEARs (17.02.2020)
Resources Regulator
Crown Lands
Muswellbrook Council
Issued SEARs (17.02.2020) Cover Letter

EIS (48)

DA Application Form
1. Executive Summary
2. Table of Contents
3. Section 1 - Introduction
4. Section 2 - Approved MPO
5. Section 3 - Project Description
6. Section 4 - Strategic Context
7. Section 5 - Statutory Context
8. Section 6 - Engagement
9. Section 7 - Environmental Assessment
10. Section 8 - Evaluation and Conclusion
11. Section 9 - References
12. Section 10 - Abbrev., Acronyms & Glossary
13. Att 1 - SEARs
14. Att 2 - Assessment Requirements
15. Att 3 - DA Area and Real Property
16. Att 4 - Land Ownership and Landholder Key
17. Att 5 - Peer Review Letters
18. Att 6 - Strategic Planning Statements & Pol.
19. Att 7 - Relevant Planning Instruments & Leg..
20. Att 8 - Rehab & Mine Closure Addendum
21. Att 9 - Summary of Mitigation Measures
22. Att 10 - CIV Estimate Report
23. Att 11 - Consent under Section 380AA of Min..
24. Att 12 - JORC (2012) Summary
25. Att 13 - Geotechnical Considerations
26. Att 14 - Copy of Public Notice
27. Appendix A - Noise and Blasting Assessment
28. Appendix B - Air Quality Assessment
29. Appendix C - Groundwater Assessment
30. Appendix D - Surface Water Assessment
31. Appendix E - BDAR
32. Appendix F - Aquatic Ecology Assessment
33. Appendix G - ACHA
34. Appendix H - Historical Heritage Assessment
35. Appendix I - Agricultural & Land Resources..
36. Appendix J - Road Transport Assessment
37. Appendix K - Geochemistry Assessment
38. Appendix L - Land Contamination Assessment
39. Appendix M - Visual and Landscape Assessment
40. Appendix N - Social Impact Assessment
41. Appendix O - Economic Assessment
42. Appendix P - Environmental Risk Assessment
43. Appendix Q - Preliminary Hazard Analysis
44. Appendix R - Human Health Assessment
45. Appendix S - Greenhouse Gas Assessment
46. Cover Letter and EIS Form
Public Exhibition Notice

Response to Submissions (3)

Request RTS (19 Mar 2021)
Submissions Report - Attachments G and H
Submissions Report - Main Text and Att A to F

IESC (2)

MACH Response to IESC (22 Apr 2021)
IESC Advice (15 Mar 2021)

Agency Advice (25)

BCD Bilateral Assessment
Advice on RTS -Heritage Council of NSW (16 July 2021)
Advice on supplementary RTS - Heritage NSW (30 Sep 2021)
Advice on supplementary RTS - BCD (6 Oct 2021)
Advice on supplementary RTS - EPA (15 Oct 2021)
Advice on supplementary RTS - DPIE Water (29 Sep 2021)
Final BCD Advice
Advice on RTS - TfNSW (15 July 2021)
Advice on RTS - Resources Regulator (15 July 2021)
Advice on RTS - Muswellbrook Shire Council (26 July 2021)
Advice on RTS - MEG (14 July 2021)
Advice on EIS -DPIE Water (12 Mar 2021)
Advice on EIS - Resources Regulator (25 Feb 2021)
Advice on EIS -Hunter New England Health (12 Mar 2021)
Advice on RTS - Heritage NSW (9 Aug 2021)
Advice on EIS - Muswellbrook Shire Council (22 Mar 2021)
Advice on RTS - EPA (26 July 2021)
Advice on EIS - BCD (23 Mar 2021)
Advice on EIS - EPA (17 Mar 2021)
Advice on EIS - Heritage Council of NSW (5 Mar 2021)
Advice on EIS - Heritage NSW (26 Feb 2021)
Advice on RTS - DPIE Water (15 July 2021)
Advice on RTS - BCD (23 July 2021)
Advice on EIS - TfNSW (23 Feb 2021)
Advice on EIS - MEG (25 Feb 2021)

Amendments (2)

Amendment-PIR Approval Letter_17052022_060823
SSD10418-DA-AREA LTR-(01136937)

Additional Information (26)

Peer Review - Air Quality Impact Assessment Final Comments from Specialist (31 Mar 2022)
EES Advice on GHG Assessment
MACH Response to GHG Queries (31 Mar 2022)
Revised CBA with Updated GHG Emissions
Economic Assessment RFI (24.12.21) DPE Request
Peer Review - Rehabilitation and Mine Closure MACH Response (18 Mar 2022)
RFI - Peer Review Response DPIE Request to MACH Rehabilitation and Mine Closure Attachment A (14 Oct 2021)
RFI - Peer Review Response DPIE Request to MACH Rehabilitation and Mine Closure Attachment B (14 Oct 2021)
RFI - Response to Peer Reviews DPIE Request to MACH (14 Oct 2021)
RFI - Dragline DPIE Request (29 Sep 2021)
RFI - Additional Information Numerous Matters DPIE Request (27 August 2021)
Peer Review - Air Quality Impact Assessment MACH Response (24 Mar 2022)
MACH Response to DPIE Water - PAF Materials (18 Mar 2022)
Peer Review - Air Quality Impact Assessment Findings (4 Feb 2022)
RFI - Spatial Data MACH Response (20 Jan 2021)
Peer Review - Rehabilitation and Mine Closure Findings (8 Feb 2022)
RFI - Voluntary Planning Agreement MACH Response (17 Aug 2021)
RFI - Spatial Data DPIE Request (16 Jan 2021)
RFI - Voluntary Planning Agreement DPIE Request (5 Jul 2021)
RFI - Residual RTS Matters DPIE Request (12 Aug 2021)
RFI - Residual RTS Matters MACH Response (9 Sep 2021)
RFI - Additional Information Numerous Matters MACH Response (22 Sep 2021)
RFI - Dragline MACH Response (28 Oct 2021)
RFI - Peer Review Rehabilitation and Mine Closure MACH Response (23 December 2021)
RFI - Peer Review Air Quality Impact Assessment MACH Response (23 Dec 2021)
RFI - Economic Assessment MACH Response (27 Jan 2021)

Recommendation (3)

Recommended Conditions of Consent (Final)
Mount Pleasant - Referral to IPC
Department's Assessment Report (Final)

Determination (3)

Notice of Determination
Development Consent
Statement of Reasons

Approved Documents

There are no post approval documents available

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.


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There are no enforcements for this project.


There are no inspections for this project.

Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.


Showing 1 - 20 of 267 submissions
Phillip Enderby
SPEERS POINT , New South Wales
This project will have significant benefits to the people of Muswellbrook shire, NSW and Australia. As such, I support this project.
Carly Hartley
WYBONG , New South Wales
The continued operation of the Mount Pleasant Mine will ensure future work for people throughout the hunter, and will support local businesses.
Luke Ward Thomas
ROUCHEL , New South Wales
I oppose this project. I am a local resident having lived in the Segenhoe valley since 1989. I am involved in the agricultural industry, specifically thoroughbred breeding. My objection is based on both the currant state of the valley but more specifically on its future.
Agriculture, viniculture and specifically the thoroughbred industry have been in a long struggle for land use with the coal mining industry - one that has cost both parties significant time , money and most pertinently, security. Clear long term legislation has been absent and instead both industries has had to battle out every decision. This has led to a situation where both currant and future investment is on shaky ground. If we look to the future growth and stability of the valley - coal mining should have no part. The legacy we leave the next generation should be one where clean and sustainable energy fulfil our energy needs. The process employed to develop this legacy should not be damaging to the future investment and health of industries that will remain.
As a resident and thoroughbred industry employee this mine represents a short sighted, retro grade step not just for the local area but for the future of the generation we would like to farm after us.
Name Withheld
NEW LAMBTON , New South Wales
This project creates employment and security for hundreds of people including associated contractors who rely on the work provided, 2020 was incredibly difficult year with numerous people I know losing their income, it's critical that projects like this continue. Surely common sense prevails and employment security prevails.
Name Withheld
BRISBANE CITY , Queensland
I believe this project contribute to the local community and also secure the stable energy supply.
Name Withheld
Sydney , New South Wales
It is beneficial for local economy.
Name Withheld
TOOWONG , Queensland
I am an expat from Japanese power utility and working in Australia now. Japan is not a rich land of natural resources and relies on importing fuels from overseas.
Australian thermal coal has contributed significantly to the energy security in Japan and I am convinced that it will continue to play an important role for Japanese energy security and economy during next a couple of decades.
From the global environment perspective, a high calorific valued Australian coal can reduce total amount of coal consumption and CO2 emission in the world.
Hence I support the optimisation project of Mount Pleasant.
Enjoi Pty Ltd T/AS Pirtek Muswellbrook
MUSCLE CREEK , New South Wales
Please see attached documents
Christopher Knight
GRETA , New South Wales
I support the Mount Pleasant Optimisation Project to allow for the maximum recovery of coal resources from the exiting Project Area for the economic benefit of the State of NSW and it's residents.
Name Withheld
GRACEVILLE , Queensland
This project will be beneficial to the local community because it will create jobs. Income tax and royalty from this project keep NSW government to be financially healthy. Given uncertain economic situation during/after the pandemic, supporting this project is beneficial to people in local community and NSW.
Name Withheld
HUNTERVIEW , New South Wales
I have a young family, I work at Mt Pleasant operations and I am depending on the extension of the Mount pleasant operation mine going ahead so I can support my family financially into the future.
Name Withheld
SCONE , New South Wales
To whom it may concern,

I believe that the Mt Pleasant mine extension of life to 2048 is a good thing for the area. It creates 100's of jobs for the upper hunter and gives job security to the local area. I believe that if we want to continue to see our area thrive the mine should be extended right through to 2048. I have lived and worked in the area my entire life in the agriculture industry and I personally believe that they are improving the countryside by implementing first class rehabilitation with Geo flutes for water run off to help retain soil erosion which I believe is great for the environmental impact. Given that we have just been through possibly the worst drought of all time in this area, the Rehabilitated land still looks good and has managed to maintain a ground cover. There appears to be no expense spared to insure that it is completed to a high standard. The mining industry supply's a much needed economic relief for our country and coming through covid we might need projects like these to get approved now more than ever.
I have a family of five and wish to keep living and working in the area as my Grandparents were able to do also, with plenty of employment opportunities. For me this application is a no brainer it supply's more jobs for more people with a smaller disturbance area to the mining lease.

Thankyou for allowing me to submit my application
Tony Veitch
Perth , Western Australia
This project and its approval to continue until 2048 is absolutely critical to the Hunter Valley community. The certainty this optimisation project will provide to the local economy in terms of high paying jobs, direct and indirect business opportunities, rates and taxes and economic value add will ensure the Hunter Valley community remains prosperous and in a position to manage the transition to a low carbon economy in the coming decades. Conversely, if this optimisation project is not approved, it will inevitably lead to the precipitous decline of the Hunter Valley economy.

What must be recognised is that the coal produced by the Mount Pleasant project (and other Hunter Valley coal mines) are among the highest quality coals in the world. Coal from Mount Pleasant fuels these new high efficiency low emissions (HELE) power stations around the world. Operation of these new HELE plants manages the transition to alternative forms of despatchable energy generation as efficiently as possible. Failure to approve this optimisation project will lead to higher carbon emissions globally.
Justin Harris
BUFF POINT , New South Wales
I believe Mt Pleasant continuation would be hugely beneficial not just for myself as an employee but also for the greater community. This project is engrossed in the local community employing and supporting families..businesses..and local trade..
I have seen first hand how well this project is run and all its benefits for the greater Hunter region..Mt pleasant is also very environmentally aware and does great work with its rehabilitation projects ,noise and dust management aswell as looking after and creating habitat for local species.
Overall I believe this submission should be granted a green light for approval and help with not just my future but the future of so many in the Greater Hunter..
Kind regards justin harris
Aaron Cochrane
PARKVILLE , New South Wales
I am a supporter of Mount Pleasant. It already offers employment for a lot of locals in the Hunter Valley, going forward, these number will only increase. With these numbers increasing, so will the economic growth of our local towns and shops. Not only will there be more jobs, but job security would be a massive thing for the employees that already work there, and new employees to the project. The rehabilitated area is already looking good from Muswellbrook, and is only going to get better going forward.
Name Withheld
BRISBANE CITY , Queensland
This project is essential to develop Australian economic and to maintain the employment of the local residents.
Name Withheld
NEWCASTLE WEST , New South Wales
This extension of this project brings certainty in local operational jobs, growth in local economy and additional royalties to NSW.
Natural mine landform design is also being incorporated into the mine planning to achieve high standard rehabilitation.
Hayden Rhook
MUSWELLBROOK , New South Wales
Mount Pleasant is community and environmentally focused, I believe it is an asset to the community, it supports the local and surrounding communities, people and families, it offers direct and contractor employment, additional training and education, traineeships, development programs and many more opportunities, it’s rehabilitation program is second to none, The Mount Pleasant Project brings with it many secure jobs and opportunities for the future of our town, families and friends.
Name Withheld
MUSWELLBROOK , New South Wales
As a resident of Muswellbrook I am thankful for the contribution to both the business and general community made by MACH Energy Mount Pleasant Operation. Not only has their operation increased the opportunity for employment for a wide section of the community, their everyday transactions with the petrol station, newsagent, real estate agent, coffee shop means they are creating opportunities for many people and enabling them to stay in Muswellbrook. Their support of the Aboriginal community and the current and ex-inmates at St Heliers Correctional Centre is to be commended. This is an amazing program and it changes peoples lives. Without MACH Energy these programs would not exist. MACH also support my children's school and sporting club, they don't ask for a pat on the back or publicity like other mines. Muswellbrook needs this mine to continue to ensure the long term future for so many. Thank you.
Blackrock Industries
MUSWELLBROOK , New South Wales
To Whom it May Concern,

I, Steven Fordham, am the founder and Managing Director of Blackrock Industries (a 100% Indigenous-owned business) and I am writing this letter of support to highlight the invaluable work Mach Energy are doing within the social inclusion space that often may go unnoticed. We feel it needs to be highlighted and celebrated as they have made a real difference to our business and our Community.

As a proud Kamilaroi man, I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help our mob, to help families grow together and not fracture and fall apart, which is part of the systemic problems we face in our community today. This is where I have created the Second Chance for Change Program, which works with incarcerated Indigenous men, to help them rehabilitate through training, skills and education. To date we have rehabilitated 65 men and have provided countless other opportunities for Aboriginal people to seek employment.

This achievement is impossible to do alone. We can only achieve this amazing result through help from our bigger brothers, and I can whole-heartedly recommend and shine light on Mach Energy and what they have done to truly help create change.

I have engaged with many large corporate companies to seek assistance and have been disappointed through many meetings which resulted in no outcome. My experience with Mach Energy, is that they have lived up to their values and have assisted Blackrock to grow into one of the larger Indigenous businesses in the Hunter Valley, which, in turn helps the Second Chance for Change Program succeed in making a real difference. Mach Energy have done this often without seeking public recognition.

The team at Blackrock Industries can speak very highly of Mach Energy and our contact, Ngaire Baker and Richard Baily . But, I can also say that my contemporaries in the Indigenous space would also share the same feelings of inclusion and support that we have all gained from our relationship with Mach Energy.

It’s not often you see a company take a chance on a young 25 year old with nothing but $20,000 a tipper truck and a dream, but Mach Energy did. They say our people come from the dream time, but Mach Energy made my dream happen, through the support and belief and optimism in giving us a chance. They did not see the RISK, rather they only saw the reward in helping create a better future.

To date, through the ACDF fund, Mach Energy has put over $4 million into the Aboriginal Community with a focus on health; economic development; cultural and community development and education and also with a further commitment of $670,000 each year on top of the $4 million they have already spent. This is unbelievable but even more, they have given our mob a voice on how the money should be spent through having an amazing group of Aboriginal people that run the fund. This is the way it should be, to have our people not be told what’s good for them all the time, but with Mach Energy, they let us create our own destiny.

By letting this extension go ahead, you will support over 320 people employed on the project and their families, help continue their employment with most of their wages going back into the community that is used to buy things like a pie on the way to work, a loaf of bread on the way home, or even pay for a little girl to get dancing lessons a little boy to get his Ram’s team jersey, and to help a mum and dad put food on the table. This is the stability of having a job at Mach Energy.

This project is vital for not only the large businesses but the mum and dad business that started in their sheds at home with nothing but an idea and a chance and the willingness to have a go. Through the support of Mines like Mach energy these businesses have an actual chance a succeeding in their ambitions. If Mach Energy does not get this approval, it will not only affect these 320 people that would lose their jobs, it would affect 320 families and local business and our local community that rely on this income.

In 2016, when Drayton Coal Mine’s application for extension was rejected, our whole community felt this blow. Not only did it affect people’s jobs, but it affected people’s lives; people that have been living here for 3-4 generations were moving away from the area to look for work, and leaving an area they called home. Businesses that relied on that income had to shut down and their dreams of owning a business, destroyed. But, luckily we had Mach Energy open and this helped give our community a chance to rebuild and thrive and I hope never to see a day like this again.

Over the past five years, it’s been the hardest time to be in business, but in rural Australia, you have to be tough but you also have to have the support of your community and be there to support them through the hard times too. Bush fires and droughts are a common part of life living in rural Australia, but with COVID-19 this has affected not only Muswellbrook but all of Australia and provides much uncertainty to what the future holds. By approving this project you give a community hope and security in a very uncertain time.

Should you wish to support Mach Energy in their bid for this extension, I would have the utmost confidence in knowing they will fulfil their pledge to help support the local businesses in the Muswellbrook area. They will increase social inclusion and create a better future for our local community.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly should you wish to discuss this further.




Project Details

Application Number
EPBC ID Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Coal Mining
Local Government Areas
Muswellbrook Shire
Determination Date

Contact Planner

Joe Fittell