As I look at the progress of the Watermark Project, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved and even more excited about the outlook for the Project. We have successfully transitioned from a relatively unknown company to being a respected local business in the region.
In our brief time here we have achieved a lot. We have successfully undertaken a significant exploration program, developed a feasibility study which confirms we have a feasible mine plan that is environmentally responsible, and more importantly, we have just completed, lodged and put on public exhibition one of the largest and most thorough Environmental Assessments for a mining project in NSW history.
In doing the above we have engaged, both directly and indirectly, more than 500 people on the Watermark Project. We have, and will to continue into the future, to use local businesses and local service providers where possible. In the future we will continue to look to our local community for employees and services with a commitment to employ and train locally where possible. Our recent school-based traineeship program is one example of Shenhua Watermark seeking to do this.
The Shenhua Group is committed to improving the social, environmental and economic capital of our stakeholders and the communities we work in. We have demonstrated this through sourcing employees from the local community, developing the local economy and providing funding for education, health services, job training and amenities development in the local region.
In 2009, Shenhua established the Watermark Community Fund, committing $1m per annum for 5 years. The fund aims to support the development of the region's economy, enhance and maintain the local environment, improve important local facilities and develop and promote local training and employment. To date, Shenhua has invested $4m in the local and regional community and supports more than 30 local organisations and community groups to achieve their goals.
Shenhua Watermark is committed to the communities in which we work, and our philosophy of being a socially responsible mining company is well integrated into our operations and is engrained at all levels of our business.
Thank you for your interest in Shenhua, and we look forward to continuing to share our story and future progress with you.
Shenhua Australia Holdings Pty Limited
Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Limited