The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has today (December 22) released a report recommending Japanese-owned Idemitsu's proposal to expand the Boggabri coal mine proceed.
In the report, Boggabri Coal Mine Modification 8, it said the department had taken into consideration the issues raised in public submissions, government agency advice and advice provided by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee, and the department's independent expert.
The department said it acknowledges community concerns raised, including impacts on water resources and emissions.
"The Department considers that the project (incorporating the modification) would not result in significant impact s to groundwater resources, subject to implementation of the mitigation measures proposed by Boggabri Coal," the report said.
"The Department considers that the benefits of the modification outweigh its residual costs and that the modification be approved, subject to the recommended amendments to the consent."
Mining opposition group Lock the Gate said in the lead up to the last state election, NSW Labor said "new coal mine projects must be subject to an independent approval process".
However, it explained due to an arbitrary decision by the NSW Government to classify the project as a "modification", it will not be referred to the Independent Planning Commission.