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Expansion of Mangoola mine will worsen Hunter Valley’s air pollution and cripple communities

The proposed expansion of the Mangoola coal mine in the Upper Hunter near Muswellbrook will add to the region’s economic and social vulnerability and its poor air quality, according to Lock the Gate Alliance. 

Glencore’s Mangoola mine (originally called Anvil Hill) has been operating since 2010 and was due to wind down mining operations in 2025. Instead, Glencore is proposing extensive additional disturbances and environmental impacts, all so it can add just five additional years of mining.

“This mine expansion will widen the area affected by the noise and air pollution from Mangoola coal mine, which is already considerable, and has depopulated the once thriving Wybong district,” said Lock the Gate spokesperson Georgina Woods.

“Air quality standards are already being exceeded in Muswellbrook and surrounds, and opening up more land for mining pits is going to worsen it.

“Expanding this mine will also put off the tough job Glencore has in providing its workforce and the community in Muswellbrook with the resources and plans they need to start planning for the long-term. 

“In the EIS, Glencore says it recognises that over the next 20 years the proportion of the energy market supplied by coal is predicted to decline1. 

“The company has a responsibility to help this region adjust to that decline, and digging another big hole will only make the Hunter more economically vulnerable because it means putting off the tough decisions on diversification that will take years to work through.”

1. Mangoola Continued Operations Project Environmental Impact Statement. Page 363. 

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