Rocky Hill Project Overview

The Rocky Hill Coal Project (RHCP) was to be a comparatively small, modern open cut mining proposal that, if approved, would bring jobs and other economic benefits to the people of the Gloucester area.

The Project was to involve mining of up to 2Mtpa Run-of-Mine (ROM) coal, with the coal being sized and the rock removed on site before being transported on a private haul road to the neighbouring Stratford Coal Mine. There it was to be processed (washed) and the product, mainly a coking coal, dispatched to the Port of Newcastle for export and use primarily in the steel making industry.

At its peak, the Project would have employed some 110 people. The Project as proposed represented the future of mining, employing state of the art technologies to minimise impacts  and being subject to the most rigorous environmental  and social assessment, regulation, monitoring and scrutiny. Areas of disturbance were to be progressively rehabilitated to create a final landform that was safe, stable and sympathetic to the existing landform and allow the speedy re-introduction of grazing and nature conservation land uses. Unlike most mines, the void remaining at the end of mining was to be backfilled.

The Project was amended from that described in the  EIS which was publicly exhibited in late 2013, principally to reflect the use of the Stratford Mine facilities.  The changes included:

no coal handling preparation plant
no overland conveyor
no balloon loop and train loading facility.

In December 2017, the development application for the RHCP was refused by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) although the Project met all non-discretionary criteria as set out by the NSW Government. As a result, GRL subsequently appealed the PAC’s decision through the Land and Environment Court (LEC), but in February 2019, the LEC handed down a decision refusing the development application. Though initially filing a Notice of Intention to Appeal the LEC decision, GRL decided not to appeal the decision through the NSW Supreme Court, Court of Appeal.

This means the Rocky Hill Coal Project will not proceed.

GRL remains the holder of three Exploration Licences in the Gloucester Basin and will continue to undertake investigations in these areas. 

View location map.


Key Facts and Figures

  • Expected number of jobs: up to 60 in construction and 110 in operations
  • Expected amount of recoverable coal: up to 21 million tonnes of ROM coal and 13 million tonnes of product coal (more than 95% of the product coal will be used in steel production)
  • Project life: up to 21 years
  • Project status: The EIS as exhibited in late 2013 was amended to reflect change in the Project's design as part of the process of seeking approval from the NSW government to operate.
  • Click here to view the original EIS 
  • Click here to review the 2014 response document prepared by GRL.