Mining under our water catchment?

Illawarra Residents say


to Wollongong Coal’s expansion project

About IRRM

Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining is a community group that formed in 2011 to oppose the expansion of the Gujarat NRE No. 1 Colliery in Russell Vale (now named Wollongong Coal Ltd’s Russell Vale Colliery) in NSW, Australia.  We advocate for responsibility in mining, mining which puts the health and well-being of ordinary people and of the environment ahead of corporate mining interests.

About Wollongong Coal

Wollongong Coal wants to expand coal mining in our drinking water catchment, but the company has a record of financial weakness, technical incapacity and frequent breaches of the conditions of its mining licence.

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About the expansion

Wollongong Coal plans to expand the Russell Vale mine, mining a third seam of coal beneath two previously mined coal seams up to the shores of the Cataract Reservoir. The area above this mining is unstable, riddled with – and still moving as a result of – previous mining.  And while in recent times coal was trucked out of the Russell Vale Colliery, Wollongong Coal now plans to process the coal on site in the densely populated residential area.

Make a submission

Illawarra Residents, and Sydney and Macarthur residents too, this is your water supply. South32's Dendrobium mine expansion is the mother of all expansions in our water catchment. Check it out and register by COB Monday to object at the public hearing.Register by COB Monday to have your say..... This image is the plan for the Dendrobium mining expansion in the Greater Sydney Water Catchment. The expansion would lock in 28 years of destructive longwall mining in the water catchment for Wollongong, Macarthur and Sydney. It will result in damage and loss of water to swamps, water courses and the Avon, Cordeaux and Nepean Reservoirs. Sydney is the only city in the world that allows longwall mining in a publicly owned water catchment!

The Independent Planning Commission will hold a Public Hearing on 2 - 4 December to inform their decision about whether this should go ahead. You need to register by 5.00pm AEDT this Monday, 23 November to get your name on the list to speak at the Public Hearing. You don't have to be an expert to speak at the hearing. You just have to care.

More info and a submission guide is at:

Image source: Project General Arrangement - Underground Mining Areas, Figure ES-3, Dendrobium Mine – Plan for the Future: Coal for Steelmaking – Environmental Impact Statement, Accessed 19.05.20 at:
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