The importance of economic benefits in the assessment of mining developments

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In the winter issue of The Landscape, King & Wood Mallesons discussed the recent Land and Environment Court of NSW decision of Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association Inc v Minster for Planning and Infrastructure & Ors, which overturned the minister’s approval to extend an existing mining operation in the Hunter Valley due to the environmental and social impacts of the project outweighing the economic benefits of developing the mine.

The state government has now proposed changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (Mining SEPP) in an attempt to prevent similar results in the future.

Proposed amendments to the Mining SEPP have been placed on a short period of public exhibition. They are designed to promote the development of significant mineral resources in the state. The amendments propose to achieve this through making the ‘significance of the resource’ the consent’s authority’s principal consideration when assessing a new mining development application…

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