Cullen Valley mine

From Global Energy Monitor

The Cullen Valley mine was an open cut and highwall mine in the Western Coalfield of New South Wales, Australia that entered into care and maintenance in 2013.


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The Cullen Valley mine was approved in 1997 but most operations began in 2000.[1] [2] In 2004, a mining consent modification was granted that allowed the mine to operate for up to 21 years, until 2025.[1]

Coal from Cullen Valley mine has historically been supplied to Mount Piper Power Station. But in June 2007, the mine failed to renew a supply contract with the power station, and as a result was placed into care and maintenance.[3]

In February 2008, Coalpac — the previous name for Castlereagh Coal — acquired Cullen Valley Mine from the Lithgow Coal Company, and the mine was taken off care and maintenance. Open cut and highwall mining operations re-commenced.[3]

In December 2012 Cullen Valley Mine was placed into care and maintenance once again. An NSW Planning Assessment Commission Determination Report wrote that the decision came after “the owner claim(ed) that economically recoverable coal resources have been exhausted.”[2]

In October 2014, Coalpac was denied permission to extend the area approved for open cut and highwall mining by 62 hectares and 79 hectares, respectively.[2] The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure had denied an earlier proposal for expansion that asked to increase production up to 3.5 million tonnes of coal per year.[2]

As a result of this continued failure to be granted an extension, Coalpac entered into liquidation in 2014.[3] Castlereagh acquired the mine, along with the Invincible mine in 2015. As of 2016, the company did not have any plans to begin mining at Cullen Valley, though they applied for two exploration licences that are associated with the Cullen Valley operations.[4]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Castlereagh Coal Pty Ltd[5]
  • Parent Company: Shoalhaven Coal Pty Ltd[6]
  • Location: Located in the Western Coalfield of New South Wales, Australia, north-west of the township of Cullen Bullen and approximately 5km by road from the Mt. Piper coal fired power station.[5]
  • GPS Coordinates: -33.28605, 150.01843 (exact)
  • Status: Care and Maintenance as of 2013[6]
  • Production Capacity: 700,000 t/year (as of 2008) [7]
  • Total Resource:
  • Mineable Reserves: 9 Mt[2]
  • Coal type: thermal coal
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Open-cut and highwall mining
  • Start Year: 2000[1]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Current Activity and Tenements: Coal," "Australian Government: Bioregional Assessments," accessed June 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "NSW Planning Assessment Commission Determination Report: Invincible Colliery and Cullen Valley Mine," "NSW Government: Planning Assessment Commission," October 17, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Annual Environmental Management Report: Cullen Valley Mine," "Coalpac Pty Ltd," 2014.
  4. "Welcome to Castlereagh Coal," "Castlereagh Coal website," March 8, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Cullen Valley Mine," "Castlereagh Coal website," accessed June 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "CULLEN VALLEY MINE ANNUAL REVIEW," "Castlereagh Coal," March 2020.
  7. "CULLEN VALLEY MINE," "Coalpac website," accessed March 2012.