As you might have seen in the Guardian earlier this week, a $1.2 Billion dollar expansion of the Xstrata coalmine in Ulan has been approved with the first shipments scheduled to begin in 2014. 250 new jobs will be created for the construction, and I suspect the project will be a positive stimulant on our regions’ economy.
One of the most positive outcomes from the new venture is the $4.5 million of infrastructure investment that Xstrata will be making in the community – I can certainly think of plenty of roads that need attention!
It is a concern that construction will begin a little over 100 metres from the historic little Ulan village, but if the mine brings more jobs to our area then I’m sure that those in charge of assessing the proposal have taken our heritage into account when making plans for the mine.
Positive real estate news is that there are plans to build accommodation for the 350 necessary ongoing workers at the mine, and as you may know many a mid-western town has been founded in the height of a mining boom (it even provided Gulgong with an Opera House)!
It is interesting to note that the majority of the coal will be exported to China, India and other growing economies in need of quality thermal coal – and yet many local residents have found themselves baulking at Country Energy’s electricity cost increases.
I guess that all we can do is keep greening our homes and reducing our dependence on the grid. Here’s hoping that the Ulan development brings all of its promised improvements without too much impact on residents!