Dartbrook Coal Mine Approved To Recommence Operations In The Upper Hunter

A controversial plan to reopen a 'mothballed' coal mine in the New South Wales Upper Hunter Valley has been approved, but a five-year extension on the mine's life has been denied.

Australian Pacific Coal Limited has an existing approval to extract up to 6 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal annually from the Dartbrook mine using longwall methods until 2022.

Dartbrook Coal, near Muswellbrook, previously owned by Anglo American, has been under 'care and maintenance' since 2006 after three deaths at the site and a series of engineering and safety issues.

Australian Pacific Coal's bid to reopen it was recommended for approval by the NSW Government but faced fierce opposition by the Upper Hunter Shire Council and community members, including the local thoroughbred industry.