Malabar Coal is an independent Australian-owned mining company based in the Hunter Valley, in New South Wales.
- the Spur Hill Project exploration licence (EL 7429);
- the Maxwell Project exploration licence (EL 5460); and
- the now-closed Drayton Mine and the associated infrastructure – re-named “Maxwell Infrastructure”.
At Malabar Coal (Malabar), we know that we must co-exist with the local community and other local industries and activities.
It was with this understanding and community feedback in mind that we committed to developing the Maxwell Project as an underground mine.
We are planning on producing coals predominantly for the steel manufacturing industry. The coal seams within the project area are very high quality. Any coal not sold to the steel manufacturing industry will be premium quality thermal coal, suitable for use in High Efficiency, Low Emission (HELE) power plants.
Underground mining means significantly lower impacts than an open-cut mine.
We have carefully placed the mine entry for the Maxwell Project in a valley 5km north of the Golden Highway. This means it cannot be seen from the Highway or the local horse studs.
We believe this very different approach addresses concerns that were raised in relation to past proposals for the area.
We’re part of the Upper Hunter community. We see first-hand the benefits a vibrant and diverse economy brings to the local area. The co-existence of different sectors means more jobs for more people with a wider range of skills. For over a century, the different sectors, including the coal mining industry, have worked together to ensure the economic success of our community.
If approved, the Maxwell Project will deliver the following benefits:
- Certainty that there can never be an open-cut coal mine within EL 5460.
- More jobs for the region. Malabar estimates that the Maxwell Project will generate about 350 new direct, long term jobs for the region along with many more indirect jobs.
- An economic boost to the local community and the economy. The project will provide ongoing support for local businesses from the initial capital to establish an underground mine and the substantial ongoing operating inputs. It is expected that over the initial 26 years of this project, coal sales will exceed $20 billion and royalties paid to the NSW State Government will exceed $1.4 billion.
- Better rehabilitation outcomes. Malabar will deliver a more visually appealing final outcome by placing reject stone and rock from underground operations in the voids at the Drayton Mine.
- Ongoing support for the community groups we have supported for more than five years.
Malabar formally took control of the Drayton Mine and EL 5460, now known as the Maxwell Project, on 26 February 2018.
We started rehabilitation work at the Drayton site as quickly as possible, with the first bulldozer commencing work on the mine site in early March. The number of staff working on the project is steadily increasing, with around 30 people currently on site.
Site rehabilitation will be undertaken in two stages.
The first stage is to shape the land and establish pasture and / or trees on the overburden emplacement areas. This initial work is expected to take around two years, with additional rehabilitation work occurring over time.
Once this work is complete, we are open to different uses for the site. To that end, we have had preliminary conversations with the local community about different ways the land could be used.
The currently approved final landforms leave voids. Malabar has publicly stated its plan to improve these final landforms to result in a more visually appealing outcome. This will be the second stage of our rehabilitation work.
At the same time, we are continuing the detailed technical work required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and development application for the Maxwell underground Project.