08 July 2015

MEDIA RELEASE
Commonwealth approves $1 billion Watermark Project
Shenhua Australia today welcomed Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of the $1 billion
Watermark Project, subject to stringent controls under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
(EPBC) Act 1999.
Shenhua Australia Chairman, Mr Liu Xiang said the approval was the culmination of more than five years of
unprecedented scientific scrutiny during the New South Wales and Commonwealth government assessment
processes.
“With the formal assessment now concluded, we can begin the next phase of the Project, to put in place the strict
operating conditions required by both levels of Government. Our immediate priority is to carefully review the
Commonwealth approval conditions to determine if they will have any impact on the project’s technical feasibility
and economic viability,” Mr Liu said.
Shenhua Watermark Project Manager, Paul Jackson said Mr Hunt’s decision reflects advice from a number of
independent experts, including the Commonwealth Independent Expert Scientific Committee, the NSW Planning
Assessment Commission and specialist hydrogeologists.
“We know the Minister has taken this decision very seriously given he stopped the assessment process to seek
advice of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee,” Mr Jackson said
“Today’s decision to approve the Watermark Project is the final, irrefutable confirmation there will be no adverse
impacts on the region’s groundwater and impacts on sensitive ecological areas have been appropriately managed
and offset,” Mr Jackson said.
“The Minister’s decision relies on one of the most comprehensive groundwater studies undertaken in NSW and
demonstrates mining can coexist with agriculture while unlocking new opportunities for employment and
economic growth in regional Australia.
“Mr Hunt’s approval is the final piece in an overwhelming body of evidence showing the Watermark Project will
not harm the region’s valuable agricultural enterprises,” Mr Jackson said.
“After years of rigorous and scientific assessment, it is time to put aside emotive arguments and acknowledge the
science clearly shows the Project should proceed,” Mr Jackson said.
Shenhua will now progress the development of a number of operating and management plans which demonstrate
how the company will comply with the strict operating conditions imposed by both the NSW and Commonwealth
Governments. Many of these plans must be approved before any works can commence. The Project expects to
have these plans ready for assessment by Q4 2015.
Further information regarding the Project is available on the Shenhua Watermark
(www.shenhuawatermark.com) or by contacting the company’s Gunnedah office on (02) 6741 8800.
ENDS
Media Enquiries: Jonathon Moore 0405 167 675
368-370 Conadilly St, Gunnedah NSW 2380Tel: +61 2 6741 8800 Fax +61 2 9290 14 98
ABN 21133264230

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