Charbon Colliery was an underground and open-cut coal mine in New South Wales that ceased production in August 2015 after nearly 100 years of operation. It is owned and operated by Centennial Coal, though SK Networks Resources Australia has 5% interest in the mine.
Mining began at the site of Charbon Colliery in 1920. In 1985, a rail loop and a coal handling and preparation plant were built at the site. In 1994, Centennial Coal bought the colliery from Blue Circle Southern Cement Ltd.
As of 2010, the mine produced about 1.3 million tonnes of coal per year. In 2010, Centennial received approval to increase output to 1.5 million tonnes of coal per year by creating 5 new open-cut pits and one new underground mine. At the time, Centennial estimated the total resource remaining in the mine was 5.2 million tonnes.
During its time of operation, the coal was processed on site and then transported to lime and cement works, the Wallerang and Mount Piper power stations, or taken by rail to Port Kembla to be exported to foreign markets.
In April 2014, Charbon Colliery ceased underground coal production, and in August 2015, they ceased open cut coal mining operations. Since then, they’ve been undergoing mine rehabilitation efforts.
- Sponsor: Centennial
- Parent Company: Joint venture between Charbon Coal Pty Ltd (Centennial) with 95% and SK Networks Resources Australia Pty Ltd with 5%
- Location: Located in the Western Coalfields of NSW, approximately 87 kilometres north-west of Lithgow, 4 kilometres south of Kandos and 3km East of Clandulla
- GPS Coordinates: -32.9383615,149.9831443 (exact)
- Status: Retired in 2015
- Production Capacity: 1.5 mtpa
- Total Resource: 4.1 Mt (as of 2013)
- Mineable Reserves: 1.8 Mt (as of 2013)
- Coal type: thermal coal
- Mine Size: 2,692ha
- Mine Type: underground (bord and pillar) and open-cut coal mine
- Start Year: 1920
- Source of Financing:
Even though it is under rehabilitation, Charbon Colliery continues to be used to support the nearby Airly mine by being a source of water. Airly mine requires 170 megalitres of water per year to continue normal coal production, but the dam it has previously relied on is expected to run out of water. This is indicative of the severe drought in Australia.
Charbon still has a license to use 336 megalitres of water per year from a nearby dam. Environmental and planning approvals were granted to transfer 170 megalitres of that water each year from Charbon to the Airly mine by rail.
Articles and resources
- "Coal," "Australian Government: Bioregional Assessment," accessed June 2020.
- "CENTENNIAL COAL: CHARBON COLLIERY ANNUAL REVIEW," "Centennial Coal," March 2020.
- "Major Project Assessment: Charbon Coal Project 08_0211," "NSW Government," September 2010.
- "Charbon approved with strict conditions," "Australia's Mining Monthly," September 15, 2010.
- "Charbon," "Centennial website," accessed June 2020.
- "Project Approval: Section 75J of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979," "NSW Government: Department of Planning," July 2019.
- Mark Carter, "Australian mines turn to rail to top up drought-ridden dam," "International Railway Journal," August 16, 2019.