Located in the Upper Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, the Ashton underground mine produces semi-soft coking coal for export through the Port of Newcastle.
Scheduled longwall moves and challenging geological conditions reduced cutting rates and increased change out times throughout 2016, affecting Ashton’s overall longwall production performance.
Ashton achieved total ROM coal production of 2.4Mt (2015 3.0Mt) and saleable coal production of 1.1Mt (2015 1.4Mt) for the year.
On 20 June 2016, the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission (NSWPAC) granted approval for the Ashton Mod five (integration modification), enabling the mine to increase underground production from 3.2Mt per annum ROM to 5.0Mt per annum ROM.
The Mod five approval also allows for South East Open Cut (“SEOC”) project coal, if developed, to be transported to and washed through existing Ashton infrastructure. The SEOC project is yet to be developed and has the potential to produce up to 3.6Mt per annum of ROM coal.
The mine is located next to the main northern railway. Product is railed to Newcastle (94kms) where the mine has an allocation on of 3.0Mtpa through Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS).
South East Open Cut Project
The proposed South East Open Cut (SEOC) project has the potential to produce up to 3.6 million tonnes per annum of ROM coal.
As announced 20 November 2015, the New South Wales Court of Appeal determined to uphold a condition attached to the Ashton South East Open Cut Project Approval granted by the NSW Land and Environment Court on 27 August 2014.
The condition provided that no development work associated with the Project can occur until Ashton Coal Operations Pty Ltd has acquired a privately owned property, which forms part of the proposed mining area.
GO TO: Ashton Coal Website
*On 17 February 2016, Yancoal Australia (Yancoal) announced a new debt funding arrangement to secure up to US$950 million via the issuing of nine-year secured debt bonds by a newly established Yancoal subsidiary, Watagan Mining Company Pty Ltd, to a consortium of financiers comprising Industrial Bank Co. Ltd, BOCI Financial Products Limited and United NSW Energy Limited.
On and from financial close, effective from 31 March 2016, Yancoal ceased to control the Austar, Ashton and Donaldson assets, but remains the exclusive provider of mine management, marketing, infrastructure and other corporate support services under 10-year contracts.