BHP Billiton has decided to drop mining activities in the Dharawal State Conservation area located in the east of Australia. The area is being mined at the Appin and West Cliff mines by Illawarra Coal a subsidiary of BHP Billiton.
Illawarra Coal had plans to extend the two mines near the Woronora and Cataract rivers and the Dharawal State conservation Areas. The plans were shelved when a government commission analysed the benefits in terms of jobs, economic activity and company profits in contrast to having the pristine bushland and water catchments polluted.
Julie Sheppard the secretary of Rivers SOS said that the decision taken by Illawarra Coal was a victory for the long campaign against the proposal led by Rivers SOS. An alliance of more than 40 community and environment groups was involved in the campaign.
The project's manager of sustainable development, John Brannon said that reflecting changes in community expectations and demonstrating a commitment to the environment the company had decided to abandon the expansion plans.