Dendrobium mine

From Global Energy Monitor

The Dendrobium mine is an existing underground coal mine owned and operated by Illawarra Coal, a subsidiary of South32. The mines lies near Wollongong, in New South Wales, Australia.

Illawarra Coal intends to extend operations to keep the mine open until 2048.[1] At present the mine has consents to run until 2030.[2] But the project was cancelled after South32 abandoned the project.[3]


The map below shows the location of the mine.[4]

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The mine began operations in 2002.[1] Since the original application approval the Dendrobium development consent has been modified seven times.[5]

In 2015 there was an investigation into the Dendrobium mine which found that the impacts of longwall mining on one tributary to Wongawilli Creek were greater than had been predicted. As a result, the Department required Illawarra Coal to provide the Department with a remediation plan for the tributary, to be prepared in consultation with WaterNSW.[6]

South32 is a demerged subsidiary of BHP founded in 2016.[7]

BHP Billiton (of which South32 is a demerged subsidiary) stated that Dendrobium "is approved to produce up to 5.2 million tonnes of coking coal per annum with an expected mine life in excess of 20 years." The Bluescope Steel Port Kembla Steelworks and the Whyalla Steelworks "are the major customers. In addition to these Australian based customers; coal is exported via the Port Kembla Coal Terminal to international customers."[8]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Illawarra Coal[4]
  • Parent Company: South32[4]
  • Location: 15 kilometres west of Wollongong[5]
  • GPS Coordinates: -34.419776, 150.826135 (exact)
  • Status: Operational[4]
  • Production Capacity: 5.2 million tonnes per annum[5]
  • Total Resource: 446 million tonnes[9]
  • Mineable Reserves: 45 million tonnes (as of 2014)[10] or 92 Mt [11]
  • Coal type: Coking coal
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Longwall mining and conventional underground mining[5]
  • Mine Depth: 350 m[12]
  • Start Year: 2002[13]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 South32, "Dendrobium Mine Extension",South 32 website, accessed 20 December 2019.
  2. Australian Government, "Coal", Bioregional Assessments website, 21 January 2019.
  3. South32 abandons $700m Dendrobium mine expansion project, Mining Technology, August 23, 2022
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 South32, "Dendrobium Mine – Plan for the Future: Coal for Steelmaking – Environmental Impact Statement", page 1-1, South32 website, April 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 New South Wales Government, "Dendrobium Coal Mine Surface Electrical Supply Upgrade Modification", page 1, Planning and Environment, 2018.
  6. NSW Government, "Investigation report into Dendrobium Mine released", NSW Government website, 16 December 2015.
  7. Ewen Hosie, "South32 expects Dendrobium report by Q1 2018, Appin enters restart phase two", Australian Mining, 6 December 2017.
  8. Illawarra Coal, "Dendrobium mine", page 2, BHP Billiton, May 2010.
  9. Mining Data Online "Dendrobium Mine", MDO website, 30 June 2018.
  10. "Current Activity and Tenements: Coal," "Australian Government: Bioregional Assessments," accessed June 2020.
  11. Form 20F SEC, accessed November 2020
  12. South 32, Mine Plan, accessed September 2020
  13. "DENDROBIUM," "MiningLink," accessed June 2020.

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