Layton, the Shenhua spokeswoman, says the company may buy more farms in the years ahead if they are affected by dust and noise. The company plans to mine the ridges and leave the soil untouched and plant trees for those it destroys.
Smyth misses the Liverpool Plains, but he doesn't believe that farming and mining can coexist.
"I think that's just a pie in the sky pretty picture that they paint," he says. "I think it should be left alone. I feel guilty in lots of ways because I was one of the ones that weakened and got out of there."