Drayton Mine

Drayton Mine is an open-cut operation which is 88% owned by Anglo American Metallurgical Coal Pty Ltd (AAMC) as a joint venture with partners NCE Anglo American, Mitsui Coal Anglo American, Deasung Anglo American and Hyundai Anglo American. The mine is operated and managed by Anglo American (AAMC, n.d.). The mining operation started in 1983 (AAMC, n.d.), with coal reserves expected to be depleted by 2015 (AAMC, n.d.).

Drayton Mine is between the towns of Muswellbrook (13 km to the north) and Singleton (34 km to the south) in the Upper Hunter Valley. Drayton is 100 km from the major port city of Newcastle and 200 km from Sydney. The mine produces more than 5 Mt/year ROM coal (AAMC, 2013). As at December 2012, ROM reserve of 12 Mt were estimated within the current mine layout (AAMC, 2013). Open-cut operations involve a dragline and excavators, and there is a significant fleet of trucks and approximately 500 employees (AAMC, n.d.). The mine has produced more than 5 Mt/year of thermal coal following the upgrade of its Coal Treatment Unit (CTU) in 2011. Drayton is now able to cater for an export market which includes Japanese power generators (AAMC, 2013, p. 1) but also provides coal for the domestic thermal market.

In 2013, AAMC sought approval for the Drayton South Coal Project to extend the life of the Drayton Mine. On 17 October 2014, the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) passed determination of the proposal, refusing the project for several reasons including that the project was not in the public interest and that the economic benefits of the project did not outweigh the potential impacts on the local equine, viticulture and tourism industries (NSW PAC, 2014a, p. 2). AAMC are, however, continuing to seek approval for a new extension to the Drayton Mine, (Drayton Mine Extension) (Hansen Bailey, 2014) (Section 1.2.3). On 23 January 2015, a Gateway Application for the Drayton South Coal Project was submitted to the Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel who are currently assessing the application (NSW Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel, 2015).

Last updated:
18 January 2019
Thumbnail of the Hunter subregion

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