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21 Apr 2021

Lisa Cox, The Guardian

NSW government pays Shenhua $100m to cancel coalmine project

21 April 2021

The NSW government will pay Chinese-owned mining company Shenhua $100m to withdraw from its Watermark coalmine project on the Liverpool Plains, ending a 13-year battle with the region’s farmers. [...]

The decision was welcomed by farmers, traditional owners and environment groups and described as a win for communities that had opposed the project because of the effect it would have had on agricultural land and cultural sites. [...]

The government said the cancellation of the Shenhua project would mean no open cut mining could occur in the area. [...]

The anti-mining group Lock the Gate Alliance said it hoped the government would now turn its mind to proposed resources projects in other parts of the state that were opposed by communities.


The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), which represented Gomeroi traditional owners opposed to the mine, said the buy back was a win for the community and for future generations concerned about a safe climate.


Shenhua confirmed the agreement in a statement and said the decision reflected shifting economic and social circumstances since the project began in 2008.

“We appreciate the NSW government’s willingness to work with Shenhua to reach an acceptable financial outcome,” the company said.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the local community for working closely with Shenhua during the project’s consultation process.”