Recent ruling damaging to mining and exploration in NSW

Hume Coal is disappointed by the recent decision in the Land and Environment Court of NSW, in favour of blocking land access based on Section 31 of the Mining Act 1992.

Hume Coal has been undertaking exploration for coal on behalf of the State Government and people of NSW, since 2011. During this time, the company has drilled 139 boreholes, with all drilling sites being rehabilitated to their original condition or converted to a groundwater monitoring asset.

Greig Duncan, Project Director said, “Prior to commencing exploration in this region, Hume Coal was mindful of the setting in which we are operating, therefore much time and design was invested into producing a drilling program, which had little to no impact on the current land use.”

To further strengthen the sustainability of our exploration program, a local drilling company was engaged, who not only had an in-depth understanding of the local environment, but had also drilled numerous water bores throughout the Southern Highlands.

Hume Coal has always undertaken its exploration activities and rehabilitation in accordance with its Approval Conditions and the approved Review of Environmental Factors (REF), despite numerous court challenges and unsubstantiated accusations, by local self-interest groups.

Mr Duncan said that the Land and Environment Court’s ruling on Section 31 of the Mining Act will now have severe ramifications for mining and exploration in NSW, not only limited to coal in the Southern Highlands, but across all NSW commodities and potentially sterilising highly valued and essential resources.

“It is now up to the NSW State Government to review the land access laws and regulations, so that the exploration industry can continue to progress opportunities, employment and the economy for the people of New South Wales.”

“Despite the unfavourable ruling, Hume Coal is focused on continuing down the approval path and delivering its low-impact mining project which has been designed to preserve and protect the region for future generations. We are continuing to progress the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), due to be released later this year.”

For more information please visit the Hume Coal website at

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Ben Fitzsimmons

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