The government has announced an investigation into Aboriginal sacred sites on the proposed site of the Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains.
The Gomeroi traditional custodians lodged to have a number of culturally significant sites protected over 12 months ago
Gomeroi spokeswoman Dolly Talbot said the heritage and cultural concerns had been a "serious issue" for some time.
“We welcome the news and hopefully this will start to move forward,” Ms Talbot said.
The proposed mining site is home to a number of grinding groves, which Shenhua indicated would be moved, then replaced when the site is rehabilitated.
“They may as well blow the grinding groves up if they think they can move them,” Ms Talbot said.
Under section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act, the government is required to prepare a report on the matter.
The report will help the Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, decide if a declaration to protect the area needs to be made.
Department of the Environment and Energy spokesperson said the Shenhua report was already underway.
Former politician and outspoken critic of the mine, Tony Windsor, said the Aboriginal culturally concerns combined with the mine's potential impact on the water table "will kill the project".
“Aboriginals have been very upset for a long time about the way they've been treated during mining applications," Mr Windsor said.
“Those grinding groves, along with being incredible to look at, are massively important to the Gomeroi.”
If the sacred sites are ignored, Mr Windsor said there would be an outrage that would rival the Franklin River conservation battle.
“I would be prepared to join them in breaking the law of trespass [in protesting],” Mr Windsor said.
Submissions will be accepted until Tuesday, October 11, but Ms Talbot said the Gomeroi would be seeking an extension so everyone would be able to have their say.
The Leader contacted Shenhua, but the company declined to comment.