Australian Pacific Coal to appeal regulator's decision to refuse mine extension

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Australian Pacific Coal Ltd said on Monday it will appeal a state regulator’s decision to not extend the life of a mothballed coal mine.

The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission in August approved the restart of underground operations at the Dartbrook Coal Mine in the state, but rejected a five-year extension beyond the current permit which ends Dec. 5, 2022.

The Commission said it was not in the public interest to extend the mine’s life, and its decision highlighted the increased scrutiny authorities are showing towards coal mine approvals.

There has been growing pressure from environmental groups to get Australia to move away from coal, and the global push has seen buyers shift towards cleaner or renewable fuel sources.

Australian Pacific, in its appeal, hopes to have the decision amended to allow mining operations to restart and give it a “reasonable time frame for the mining to facilitate the necessary capital costs which will be incurred.” (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)