Donaldson coal mine

From Global Energy Monitor

The Donaldson coal mine is a part of the Donaldson Coal complex, which also includes the Abel mine and Tasman mine. It was an open cut coal mine operated by Donaldson Coal and ultimately owned by Yancoal that operated from 2001 to 2013.[1]


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Mining began at the Donaldson open cut mine in 2001 and ended in October 2013. Between March 2001, when the first load of coal was railed away from Donaldson, and October 31 2013, approximately 13,002,548 tonnes of coal was railed to both Hunter Valley power stations and international customers, through the Port of Newcastle.[2]

As of December 31, 2013, according to the Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited, “Donaldson Coal Mine’s JORC-compliant reserves were approximately 136.9 million tonnes. As of the samedate, the mine’s marketable coal reserves were approximately 84.6 million tonnes.”[3]

Since the mine was put on care and maintenance in 2013, progressive rehabilitation activities have been undertaken and a final rehabilitation project commenced in May 2013. This involved the removal of roads, excavation of contaminated material, reshaping surfaces to the final landform, topsoil spreading, and seeding with local tree and shrub species.[2] The rehabilitation work was completed at the site by March 2014.[4]

Donaldson’s final mining lease ends in December 2020. The mine’s current Mining Operations Plan spans from 2014 to 2021, and lays out a plan of solely care and maintenance.[5] It appears unlikely that Donaldson Coal will reopen the Donaldson mine.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Donaldson Coal[6]
  • Parent Company: Yancoal[6]
  • Location: Located approximately 25km from the Port of Newcastle, on a mining lease contained within both Maitland and Cessnock Council areas in New South Wales.[1]
  • GPS Coordinates: -32.81123, 151.61176 (exact)
  • Status: Care and maintenance as of 2013[1]
  • Production Capacity: 709,400 tonnes in 2012, the last full year of production[7]
  • Total Resource: 136.9 Mt (as of Dec. 2013)[3]
  • Mineable Reserves: 84.6 Mt (as of Dec. 2013)[3]
  • Coal type: coking and thermal coal products[8]
  • Mine Size: 166 square kilometers[3]
  • Mine Type: open cut[6]
  • Start Year: 2001[1]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "DONALDSON," "Donaldson Coal website," accessed June 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "[ Annual Environmental Management Report for the Donaldson Coal Mine]," "Donaldson Coal," January 31, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Donaldson Coal Mine," "Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited website," accessed June 2020.
  4. "Annual Review Donaldson Coal Mine: 1 November 2015 - 31 October 2016," "Donaldson Coal," June 30, 2017.
  5. "Mining Operations Plan: Donaldson Coal Mine: 1st May 2014 – 1st May 2021," "Donaldson Coal," November 28, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "ABOUT," "Donaldson Coal website," accessed June 2020.
  7. "DONALDSON COAL ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT REPORT: 1st November 2011 to 31st October 2012," "Donaldson Coal," December 24, 2013.
  8. "Donaldson Coal Complex," "Australian Government: Bioregional Assessment," accessed June 2020.

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