Located in the Hunter Valley, Donaldson’s underground Abel mine produces thermal and semi-soft coking coal for blending, exporting via the Port of Newcastle.
Donaldson Coal includes the Abel underground mine and former Tasman underground mine, located near the Port of Newcastle.
Donaldson's Abel underground mine produced a total 1.81 million tonnes of ROM coal and 1.33 million tonnes of saleable coal for 2015.
Rehabilitation of the former Tasman mine was successfully completed in 2014.
The Abel underground mine is a bord and pillar operation, using continuous miners for first workings and secondary extraction. This two stage process accommodates irregular shaped coal deposits, enables adjustment to extraction for better management of subsidence and maximises the efficiency of the operation.
Following extraction, coal is transported via conveyor through the high wall to the surface infrastructure area of the former Donaldson Open Cut Mine. It is then transported to the Bloomfield Coal Handling and Preparation Plant, where it is processed and loaded for transport by rail to the Port of Newcastle for export.
The Donaldson underground lease area extends southwards from John Renshaw Drive towards George Booth Drive and is bounded on the eastern side by F3 Freeway and by Buttai Creek to the west.
Care and Maintenance
The Donaldson operation moved to 'care and maintenance' in June 2016, following a reduction in mining activities and commencement of new feasibility studies.
The move to care and maintenance is in response to ongoing global market challenges as the operation considers the future development of new underground working areas.
Care and maintenance includes the ongoing rehabilitation of the Donaldson site in accordance with existing approvals, as well as the management of the site both above and below ground as Yancoal works to consider all options for the potential further mining of the Abel underground.
GO TO: Donaldson 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.