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Whitehaven's Tarrawonga mine gets approval

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MELBOURNE, Jan 25 AAP

January 25 2013, 12:04AM

Whitehaven Coal has won state planning approval for its Tarrawonga Coal Mine Expansion Project in north-west NSW.

Approval was given subject to conditions, including community and stakeholder consultation and assessments of environmental impacts.

The project is now awaiting approval from the Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water Population and Communities.

"We welcome the determination by the (NSW) Planning Assessment Commission and are committed to working within the stringent conditions that have been placed on the project," Whitehaven Coal managing director Mr Tony Haggarty said in a statement on Friday.

The Tarrawonga mine currently has consent to extract 16.4 million tonnes of coal, at a rate of up to two million tonnes a year, until 2017.

Under the expansion, the mine will be extended to the east of the approved mining area, increase the production rate to three million tonnes of coal a year and extend the project life to 2030.