The application that is currently on public display with the NSW Department of Planning indicates that the proposed project will consist of two stages. The initial plan is to deepen the extraction area from approximately 0m AHD to about 40m AHD. It includes the construction of a new processing plant in the centre of the extraction pits as well as relocation of the concrete plant and relocation of the office, workshops and amenities. According to Hanson, the amended layout would enable them to make use of modern technology available to the quarrying industry.
The second stage will consist of the reconfiguration of the bund wall approved by Shellharbour City Council and deeplining the extraction area, from the approved level below 50 feet to 40 m AHD.
In the application, Hanson proposed two scenarios for its expanded operation. The initial estimate will be 2.4 million tonnes per year and the second scenario suggests an increase to 4 million tonnes per year. They propose a capital investment of $100 million in the venture that includes all costs necessary to establish and operate the project, including the design and construction of associated infrastructure and fixed or mobile plant and equipment. It does not include the cost of the land.
Hanson also emphasises in the application that the proposed project reduces the ecological footprint that could be associated with opening up alternative sites. The company argues that there is no significant additional impact to the same area as approved under existing consent, plus the added advantage that there will not be an increased demand on existing services.
The quarry currently produces about 1.5 million tonnes per year and employs around 70 people. According to the application, the new project will ?maintain local opportunities?, indicating that the project will create about 100 construction jobs and 50 operational equivalent full time jobs.
The application will be on public display until 25 July, 2011.
Source: Illawara Mercury, NSW Government Planning and Infrastructure