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AGL Retention Licence RL2015

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The Victorian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) notified AGL Loy Yang on 6 January 2014 that it has been granted priority over the Retention Licence RL2015 covering the Flynn area.

What is a Retention Licence?

Retention Licences are a new form of licensing for resources established in Victoria in February 2012. View a Fact Sheet on Retention Licences.

AGL is one of Australia's leading renewable energy companies and is Australia's largest private owner, operator and developer of renewable generation assets. Learn more about AGL.

Retention Licence Application

AGL Loy Yang is in a strong position to cater for new coal development opportunities, given its natural advantages in terms of location, flexibility to expand and the extent of works undertaken throughout the life of the mine to date to position itself for future growth.  To enable this growth to occur, AGL Loy Yang needs to maintain access to the existing coal resources from within the current Mining Licence Area (MIN 5189) and the area previously held under an Exploration Licence.

AGL Loy Yang has submitted an application to convert the existing Exploration Licence, which abuts to the east of Mining Licence MIN 5189 into a Retention Licence (RL2015).

The application area for RL2015 is set out in the drawing below. Download PDF

LY Retention Licence Map 1

Community Engagement

AGL Loy Yang is committed to engaging positively and constructively with key stakeholders and the community and has a proven track record of successfully working with the local community on mine development related matters over 30 years.

AGL Loy Yang recognises the duties of licensees to consult with the community under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic). Specifically, section 39A of the Act requires that licensees have a duty to consult with their community across the entire life cycle of a project, from exploration, through to development, operation, closure and rehabilitation by:

  • sharing with the community information about any activities authorised by the licence that may affect the community; and
  • giving members of the community a reasonable opportunity to express their views about those activities.

AGL Loy Yang has systems for managing impacts of the proposed work on the community and the environment as part of its duty to consult with the community in relation to Mining Licence MIN5189. It will utilise these systems when consulting with the community in relation to RL 2015.

AGL Loy Yang has a Community Engagement Plan which documents AGL Loy Yang’s processes for managing the impacts of its operations with the community. It provides a regime for sharing information with the community relevant to mining and exploration activities consistent with its licences and provides a reasonable opportunity for the community to express their views.

AGL Loy Yang maintains strong relationships with key community stakeholders where the potential for mining within the RL2015 area will be discussed and issues identified with community consultation.

AGL Loy Yang also engages formally with local government, regulator and community representatives via its Environmental Review Committee, which is a requirement under the terms Mining Licence MIN5189.

The company also hosts an annual public forum which provides an opportunity for the company to provide an update on mining and exploration activities and respond to community concerns.

AGL Loy Yang is committed to contributing to sustainable community engagement, and managing potential impacts in a sustainable way.

Environment, Planning and Heritage

AGL Loy Yang has thorough knowledge of the planning, environment, and heritage requirements associated with the RL2015 area, and will consider these for any mine expansion or project development. Investigation will follow the following steps:

Exploration Work Planning

An environmental management plan will be developed to inform any exploration and base line monitoring activities and will be incorporated into the work program.

Planning

The Retention Licence application is wholly within the Latrobe City local government area. The application covers private land mostly classified as Farming Zones and also Crown Land. The Planning Zones indicate the majority of the RL2015 area included in any potential expansion of the Loy Yang mine has a SUZ1 zone giving preference to coal mining. The potential mining area in the south of the retention licence area is covered by a state resource overlay recognising the coal resources.

Native Title

Discussions will be held with Native Title owners prior to any exploration on Crown Land and an agreement will be sought for the Retention Licence.

Retention Licence Work Program

AGL Loy Yang (previously called Loy Yang Power Management Pty Ltd) was granted EL4683 on 14 December 2005 and since that time has worked in accordance with the agreed work plans.

AGL Loy Yang proposes to undertake the following program of work under RL2015:

  • Further exploration work
  • Resource delineation and coal testing
  • Hydrogeological investigation
  • Hydrological studies
  • Geotechnical investigation
  • Project discussions, negotiation and feasibility studies

This work is described in detail below:

No work will be undertaken on private land (including low impact exploration work) without the consent of, or a compensation agreement with, the land owner/occupier 

Further Exploration Work

Precise details of the exploration activity will be provided in a work program for Government approval. The work program will be carried out under an occupational health and safety management plan as well as task specific requirements. No drilling will be undertaken without the required Government approval.

Resource Delineation and Coal Testing

The majority of the work required has already been completed in the Exploration Licence phase and earlier. Any new exploration drilling if deemed necessary would have cores logged and sampled for lignite and other testing. During exploration, site disturbance will be kept to a minimum and disturbed sites will be rehabilitated according to an environmental management plan that will be provided with the draft work program.

Hydrogeological Investigation

Data from existing aquifer depressurisation operating pump and observation bores will provide the basis for modeling in the RL2015 area. The coal resource exploration bores may also be able to be utilised for the monitoring system.

Hydrological Studies

An assessment of the surface hydrology within the RL2015 area will be undertaken utilising rainfall and surface information to identify and aid the development of water management strategies. This study will also inform the interaction between surface water, groundwater and any sensitive wetland areas.

Geotechnical Investigation

Samples will be taken for testing to ascertain the strength of materials likely to be encountered in the mine and in the mine batters. The material strength, particularly the shear strength, will influence batter angle design. Sampling and testing of materials from these boreholes will examine the following:

  • Strength of overburden materials (to assess mining requirements and provide information for concept design of overburden dumps).
  • Direct shear testing within lignite seams – joint and direct shear testing.
  • Direct shear testing within interseams - direct shear testing.
Project Development

Since the initial grant of the exploration licence there has been an increasing level of interest from industries wishing to establish in the region and transform raw brown coal to value added products for domestic and export use. AGL Loy Yang is one of the few entities in Victoria with experience in the commercial supply and delivery of brown coal to third parties, and has therefore received many approaches from potential customers.

After the grant of RL2015, AGL Loy Yang will continue to work with project proponents in the development of demonstration and commercial plants utilising improved coal processing technologies able to produce higher value products from brown coal. Project proponents are expected to include proponents for the following types of projects:

  • Coal drying and possibly briquetting;
  • Gasification and further processing to higher grade products;
  • Pyrolysis, producing gases, low volatile solid fuels, and tars;
  • Hydrological studies
  • Hydrothermal dewatering; and
  • Micronised refined coal (MRC).

Prospective project proponents will be expected to complete feasibility studies to confirm the compatibility of any project with AGL Loy Yang resources and sites, and to ensure that any project will be able to meet best practice from an environmental performance perspective.

AGL Loy Yang will support and assist proponents to work with the Victorian Government, Latrobe City Council and other statutory authorities on project development and infrastructure needs such as water and transport.

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