Drayton mine

From Global Energy Monitor

Drayton mine was an open cut thermal coal mine in the Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales. It was put on care and maintenance in 2016 after over 30 years of operation.


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Operations at Drayton mine began in 1983, under the ownership of a co-venture between the Shell Company of Australia and Thiess Bros. Pty Ltd.[1]

At some point, Anglo American came to be the majority owner of Drayton mine, with 88.17% interest in the project. The remaining owners were Mitsui Coal with 3.83% interest, NCE Australia with 3% interest, Daesung Australia with 2.5% interest, and Hyundai with 2.5% interest.[2]

In 2008, Drayton received approval for a mine extension, which would extend the mine’s life to 2017 and permit 8 million tonnes of coal per year to be removed.[3] However, for much of the mine’s life, the mine produced about 5 million tonnes of coal per year. By 2011, Drayton was exporting 100% of their coal, including Japanese power generators.[2]

In 2015, one of its last year of production, the mine produced only 1,167,500 tonnes, which was estimated to be the only coal remaining in the mine.[4] In 2016, Anglo American stopped mining operations, likely due to a lack of remaining coal reserves to mine.[5]

As the original Drayton mine closed, Anglo American eventually planned to open Drayton South nearby as a replacement mine. Proposals to develop Drayton South have been rejected twice, the latest in 2017.[6]

In 2017, Anglo American agreed to sell their 88.17% interest in Drayton mine to Malabar Coal and Drayton South project.[7] Malabar is using the infrastructure present at Drayton mine, including coal preparation plant, train load-out facility, and administrative buildings, for their nearby coal projects, Maxwell project and Spur Hill project. Additionally, Malabar is rehabilitating the Drayton mine.[8]

Project Details

  • Sponsor:
  • Parent Company: Malabar Coal Limited[7]
  • Location: Located approximately 13km south west of Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales.[9]
  • GPS Coordinates: -32.35376, 150.91399 (exact)
  • Status: Care and maintenance since 2016[10]
  • Production Capacity: 1,167,500 tonnes of coal were produced in 2015,[4] though throughout the years of operation AngloAmerican claimed the production capacity was about 5 mtpa[2]
  • Total Resource:
  • Mineable Reserves: 0 Mt[11]
  • Coal type: thermal[2]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: open cut[2]
  • Start Year: 1983[2]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "Drayton Coal Mine: Mine Development Proposal," "Thiess Bros Pty Ltd, The Shell Company of Australia Limited," June 1978.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "DRAYTON," "AngloAmerican," September 2013.
  3. "Drayton," "AngloAmerican website," accessed February 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "ANNUAL REPORT 2016," "AngloAmerican," 2016.
  5. Cecilia Connell, "End of an era for workers at Anglo American's Drayton Mine in NSW Upper Hunter Valley," "ABC News," October 13, 2016.
  6. "Drayton South coal mine," "Wood Mackenzie," May 31, 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Anglo American sells interest in Drayton project," "Australian Mining," May 5, 2017.
  8. "Maxwell Infrastructure," "Malabar Coal," accessed June 2020.
  9. "NSW Planning Assessment Commission Determination Report: Drayton South Coal Project," "NSW Government: Planning Assessment Commission," February 22, 2017.
  10. "Drayton (Maxwell) Mine," "Mining Data Solutions," accessed June 2020.
  11. "ORE RESERVES AND MINERAL RESOURCES REPORT 2015," "AngloAmerican," 2015.

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External resources

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