The Dartbrook underground coal mine in NSW is set to reopen.

The state’s Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has made way for the revival of the mothballed underground coal mine in the Hunter Valley.

The mine may soon be operational for the first time since 2006, after Australian Pacific Coal (AQC) and the IPC reached an agreement in the Land and Environment Court.

Dartbrook has been in a care and maintenance since 2006. AQC purchased the property in 2016.

It applied to mine 6 million tonnes of coal a year through to 2027, but was refused by the IPC last year. AQC immediately appealed in the Land and Environment Court, lodging a 14-page response.

The IPC had been concerned about the social impact of resuming operations, given that the area is now dominated by agriculture and equine activities.

A range of environmental impacts were raised too, but AQC says switching to bord-and-pillar mining will minimise impacts on groundwater and other environmental assets.

The IPC's original rejection was then overturned.

Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) district president Peter Jordan said it is a win for the region.

“It just means jobs, jobs and jobs and who would not want jobs in the area?” he said.

“I'm sure all those local businesses in and around the Muswellbrook area will be rubbing their hands together.”

Environmental groups say it is a setback.

“The planning system is still putting off the very important, and increasingly urgent job of giving the Hunter new industry outside of coal mining,” said Georgina Woods from the Lock the Gate Alliance.

“We are setting the Hunter up for a harder and harder and harder future.

“It is only proposed to continue for seven years and so it's not a long-term development that's going to provide for sustainable employment and growth and prosperity for the Upper Hunter into the future.”