The NSW Minerals Council has welcomed the decision of the NSW Government to issue a Mining Lease for the job-creating underground Wallarah 2 Coal Project. “This is a very positive sign that the recently re-elected NSW Government is serious about backing regional jobs and investment during the term of this Parliament,” the NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen said.The project is led by Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture, formed by South Korean firms Kores Australia (82.25%), Kyungdong Australia (4.25%), SK Networks Resources (4.25%) and its subsidiary SK Networks Resources Australia (4.25%), and Australian company Sojitz Coal Resources (5%). Kores says the underground mine will produce up to 5 Mt a year of thermal coal for power stations over 28 years, aiming to start production in late 2022 or early 2023.The Minerals Council statement said: “The project will be a huge boost to the Central Coast region. It will support more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction, 300 direct jobs in the mining operation for the 28 year life of the mine, and another 500 indirect jobs in retail, building, transport and other sectors. Over the life of the project, Wallarah 2 is forecast to drive over $600 million in economic turnover into the regional economy and hundreds of millions in royalties and taxes to the State Government to help fund hospitals, roads and schools for the people of NSW across the State.” “Wallarah 2 has been one of the most scrutinised mining projects in NSW history, subjected to repeated assessment over a ridiculous 16 year period, including by independent scientific experts, the Department of Planning, and the Independent Planning Commission, before receiving a positive determination last year. This project has also been used as a political football at successive state elections. However that’s now all in the past and we commend the NSW Government for granting the project a Mining Lease so it can proceed.