Workers at Drayton Mine, between Muswellbrook and Singleton, have likened this week to a roller coaster of grief.
When news broke that the Drayton South project was refused by the Planning Assessment Commission early Tuesday morning workers said they could not believe what they were hearing.
Warren Cooke is angered he was advised about the decision by media.
“Not to be told directly but indirectly via the media has made me angry, everyone was just gutted, they were in shock and couldn’t believe what they were hearing,” Mr Cooke said.
Likewise Todd Mills, an employee at the mine for some 24 years, said he too heard the news on the radio first.
Since Tuesday, anger at the mine has turned into a deathly silence as mineworkers face the fact their workplace is about to close.
“Today’s a quiet day, I think the news is starting to sink in, people are starting to think about what they are going to do, even my daughters have been asking me that,” mineworker Samantha Robinson said.
“People are looking for answers, they are disappointed, they are starting to think how their lives are going to be impacted, I’ve made some good friends here and it’s going to be hard.”
Samantha Robinson woke to the sound of a text on her phone at 5:50am Tuesday morning.
A friend suggested she grab herself a copy of The Daily Telegraph.
The front page story revealed the news she had been dreading for months.
The job she has come to love at Drayton Coal would soon come to an end after the Planning Assessment Commission refused the Drayton South project.
Samantha spoke exclusively to The Muswellbrook Chronicle yesterday and said her first thoughts were: “Oh my God, what will happen, what am I going to do?”
It is the same question being asked by this single mother’s 12-year-old and 14-year-old daughters.
“Hopefully, I will get another job in the industry, we are all upset, all disappointment and there is confusion about how this could have happened,” Samantha said.
Fellow mineworkers Todd Mills and Warren Cooke are not so optimistic about their job options.
“At 50 years of age and with the mining closures of recent times, I don’t like my job prospects,” Todd said.
He suggested a lot of people would look to relocate out of the Upper Hunter to other mining areas but he was unsure what he would do.
Meanwhile, Warren Cooke whose wife is born and bred in the Upper Hunter, said his suggestion at relocating had caused his wife much distress.
“She doesn’t want to go and I don’t blame her,” he said.
Mr Cooke also warned of the flow on effect, saying it wasn’t just the mine that would be impacted but that local businesses, schools and the hospital would feel the effects.
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