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Miners Reject Coal Ban But Vow To Work With Breeders
However the mining industry "rejected a call for a moratorium on coal mining in the Hunter Valley, but says it will continue to work with all industries including thoroughbred breeders" reported The Sydney Morning Herald. The NSW Minerals Council said a moratorium "was impractical & all parties needed to work together". It said a moratorium on new mining projects or extensions in NSW "would threaten more than 30 coal projects in the pipeline over the next decade, worth $9.2 billion in capital investment". NSW Minerals Council chief executive Dr Nikki Williams commented: "The mining industry has been an important part of the Hunter Valley for more than 150 years. We have coexisted with thoroughbred breeders, farmers, wine makers & other industries over that time." Williams emphasised the council "took seriously the concerns about the impact of mining in the area & had an action plan to respond to those concerns" noting: "Mines are already required to undertake comprehensive environmental, social & economic assessments as part of the planning assessment process. Mines regularly refine their plans during this process. In the case of the Bickham proposal in the Upper Hunter determined earlier this year, this process meant the proposal did not proceed." The Bickham development was stopped in May this year by the NSW government which, the newspaper commented "promised to initiate a strategic plan for coal mining by the end of 2010. The lack of action by the government was what stirred the breeders' organisations to formulate the 10-point plan."