Maxwell coal mine

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Maxwell coal mine is a proposed underground coking coal mine in the Upper Hunter Valley. It was called Drayton South coal project until June 2018.[1] If commenced it would lie 18km south west of Musswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia. If started the mine will produce coal for 26 years[2]

Transport of product coal to Australian markets or to the Port of Newcastle for export would be via the existing Antiene Rail Spur and Main Northern Railway or via conveyor to the Bayswater and/or Liddell Power Stations.[3]


The undated image below shows the exact location of the proposed mine.[4]

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Coal Mine Background

On 26 September 2019, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment requested that Malabar prepare and submit a Submissions Report for the project.[2]

In summer 2018 a Gateway Application for the site was made by Maxwell Ventures. The Gateway Certificate is one step in the long process for Maxwell Ventures to gain mining approval for this site.[1]

In February 2018 the Drayton South Exploratory License, along with its neighbouring Drayton Open Cut mine was sold by Anglo American to Malabar Coal.[1]

Anglo American spent five years attempting to gain approval for an open cut mine on the site so they could continue their Hunter Valley operations as their Drayton mine had exhausted its coal reserves.

Despite spending tens of millions of dollars on the project and rejigging their mine plans to reduce its size and visual impact Anglo American was unable to convince the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) to grant it approval with the Commission consistently stating its impacts were too great on the thoroughbred studs and the entire Upper Hunter thoroughbred industry.[1]


The Project would result in the direct clearance of approximately 152.8 hectares of known and potential habitat for the Striped Legless Lizard.[5]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Maxwell Ventures (Management)[1]
  • Parent Company: Malabar Coal
  • Location: 18 km south west of Musswellbrook, Hunter Valley, New South Wales
  • GPS Coordinates: -32.433479, 150.824735 (exact)[4]
  • Status: Proposed
  • Production Capacity: 8 million tonnes per annum[3]
  • Total Resource: 770 million tonnes[6]
  • Mineable Reserves: 148 million tonnes[3]
  • Coal type: Coking coal
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Underground bord and pillar mining and longwall mining[7]
  • Start Year:
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Louise Nichols, "Drayton South coal project becomes Maxwell Ventures under its new ownership", The Singleton Argus 5 June 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Malabar Coal, "Maxwell Project Submissions Report", page 1, Malabar Coal website, 20 November 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Malabar Coal, "Maxwell Project Submissions Report", page 4, Malabar Coal website, 20 November 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Malabar Coal, "Maxwell Project Submissions Report", page 2, Malabar Coal website, 20 November 2019.
  5. Malabar Coal, "Maxwell Project Submissions Report", page 57, Malabar Coal website, 20 November 2019.
  6. Malabar Coal, "Resources & Reserves", Malabar Coal website, 2018.
  7. Malabar Coal, "Maxwell Project Submissions Report", page 3, Malabar Coal website, 20 November 2019.

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