HUME Coal would most likely need to build a coal washing facility in the Southern Highlands if its plan to establish a coal mine near Sutton Forest were approved by the State Government.
This statement was made during an open meeting with Wingecarribee councillors on Wednesday in which representatives of Cockatoo Coal, which owns 30 per cent of Hume Coal, updated the council on its activities in the shire.
It was standing room only in the public gallery as about 100 people, many wearing "No coal or coal seam gas" T-shirts, gathered to hear the presentation.
Hume Coal Project manager Tim Rheinberger said it was a constructive meeting and that the company was given a "fair hearing" in getting its point across.
"It was good to have members of the community there to hear what we were presenting," he said.
Cockatoo Coal NSW general manager Stuart Hides said a coal-washing facility was not "definite" but, based on Hume Coal's understanding of the seam, it was "very likely that a wash-plant would be required".
He also said water for the plant would be sourced from the aquifers and returned into the environment once it had been used to wash the coal.
He said refused to rule out the possibility that its recently acquired property at Sutton Forest would be the site of a mine tip (head).
Other topics covered by Hume Coal included the potential benefits to the community, such as up to 500 temporary jobs created, up to 300 permanent jobs, and apprenticeship programs with local schools and TAFE.
Mr Rheinberger said the company had already spent about $900 million with local businesses.
During questions from the public, however, a landholder of 50 years, "Rose", asked whether the company had considered the potential disadvantages, such as "killing off tourism, heritage and property values".
A representative from Parsons Brinkerhoff spoke about its ongoing Water Study of the area and its interaction with the community through the Water Advisory Group.
After questioning from Cr David Stranger, Mr Hyde admitted that Cockatoo Coal was close to receiving a $313?million investment from SK Networks, a subsidiary of the third-largest conglomerate in South Korea.
Cockatoo's shares had risen 4.5c to 41c in response.
This would give SK?Networks 40 per cent ownership of Cockatoo Coal, with Korean steel maker Posco at 13.5 per cent and Korea Electric Power at 7.6 per cent.
The remaining 70 per cent of Hume Coal was also owned by Posco, meaning it would be about 88 per cent owned by Korean companies.
"While there is a lot of negativity about whether it's a Korean-dominated company or Australian, from out point of view we're publicly listed and if an Australian wants to invest 40-50 per cent in the company, that's great," Mr Hides said.