The Maxwell Project is an underground coal mining development located east of Denman and south of Muswellbrook.

Malabar has committed to developing the area as an underground mine that would be vastly different from past proposals for the site.

It is Malabar’s strong view that this underground project can comfortably co-exist with other industries and land uses in the area.

At Malabar’s request, the NSW Government amended the exploration licence (EL) to give up the portion of the EL located beneath and to the south of the Golden Highway, and to restrict any future development to underground mining only.

In addition to this, and with the full support of Malabar, the NSW Government has added a further layer of protection, a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), to provide legal certainty that only an underground project can be developed within EL5460.

Throughout the planning process we have taken a number of practical steps to reduce our impact on the environment and the community. To that end, we will be using the established facilities at ‘Maxwell Infrastructure’ to process and rail all coal we intend to mine at the Maxwell Project.


 Project Documents

20/11/2019 Maxwell Project Submissions Report pdf
14/08/2019 Environmental Impact Statement link
06/2019 Community Newsletter (June 2019) pdf
27/12/2018 Gateway Certificate (Maxwell) link
23/08/2018 EPBC Act Referral (Maxwell Ventures) link
23/08/2018 Gateway Application (Maxwell) link
09/08/2018 Scoping Report link

Project Benefits 

As part of the Upper Hunter community, we see first-hand the benefits a vibrant and diverse economy can bring to the local area.

For the Maxwell Project, this will include:

  • 350 new direct, long term jobs for the region along with many more indirect jobs
  • Development of local workforce capacity with Malabar’s proposed focus on local employment and the recruitment of personnel from outside of the underground mining sector
  • $55m in wages each year
  • Continued support for the vitality and growth of local and regional businesses, through spending on capital infrastructure and ongoing operating inputs (such as maintenance supplies and professional services)
  • $500 million to $700 million annually in export income for NSW
  • An additional $1 billion to $1.25 billion to the NSW State Government and local Council through coal royalties, payroll tax, land taxes and Council rates over the initial 26 years of the project, providing funds for hospitals, schools and regional infrastructure
  • Malabar has provided funding to support local community groups for six years and will continue to provide funding to a range of organisations
  • Better rehabilitation outcomes. Malabar will deliver a far more visually appealing final outcome by placing reject stone and rock from underground operations in the legacy voids at the former Drayton Mine.
  • Certainty that there will never be an open-cut coal mine within EL 5460

Update on the Maxwell Project 

Malabar formally took control of the Maxwell Infrastructure and EL 5460 on 26 February 2018.

Since that time, Malabar has gathered and carefully considered the community’s feedback as we developed our plans for the Project.  For more information about how we have listened and taken steps to address feedback from the community, click here.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Maxwell Project has been submitted to the NSW Government. The EIS is available to download online from the NSW Government’s Major Projects website (

The image below explains where we are up to in the process, and how you can provide feedback as we progress.

Project Process