Whitehaven Coal FAQs
This page lists a selection of frequently asked questions and answers that should help you in your search. If you would like to contact us with a question not answered here, you can do so here
Whitehaven owns and operates five mines – four open cut mines and one large underground mine. We also operate a Coal Handling and Processing Plant.
Our coal mining activities are currently located in the Gunnedah Basin in north west New South Wales. Our four open cut mines are at Maules Creek, Werris Creek, Tarrawonga and Rocglen. Our large underground mine is at Narrabri, while our Coal Handling and Processing Plant is near Gunnedah.
Our principal products are high quality, high energy, low ash and low sulphur thermal coal and metallurgical coals used in the production of steel.
As part of our vision to be Australia’s leading independent coal company, we are delivering on plans to double 2014 production levels to achieve sales of 23 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) by FY2018.
Our overall workforce is more than 1,400 strong, with 80 per cent of our employees living in the local communities around where our operations are based.
We take great pride in that Whitehaven started in the Gunnedah Basin and that we focus on employing a local workforce wherever possible. Around 80% of our workforce live in the area of our operations.
Once washed, our coal travels from the Gunnedah Basin by rail to the Port of Newcastle before being shipped to our customers, mostly in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and India. High quality coal from our Narrabri mine is used in the Isogo power plant in Yokohama, Japan, one of the most efficient ultra super critical power plants in the world.
Whitehaven reports its costs on a half year basis. Costs in FY16 were $56/t FOB.
You can find out more about the history of the company here
If you are unable to find an answer on our website, submit your question here
We have quality foundations and quality assets. We need more quality people. Our open career opportunities can be found here
If you would like to be considered for a role with Whitehaven Coal but don’t see a suitable position being advertised, please complete a general expression of interest by emailing email@example.com
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Coal accounts for over 40% of the world’s electricity supply and 73% of Australia’s electricity supply. It is fundamental in powering homes and industry, providing energy for transport and producing steel and concrete.
Coal is an essential resource for tackling the challenges facing the modern world, specifically the rapid increase in energy consumption. Coal is significantly cheaper and more accessible than other fossil fuels and its reserves are distributed much more equally around the planet.
Coal is used for the following:
Electricity generation: Power generation is the primary use for coal worldwide. Thermal coal is burnt to create steam that drives turbines and generators for the production of electricity. Modern HELE power station technology can help to reduce carbon emissions when it is installed around the world.
Metal production: Metallurgical coal is a key ingredient in steelmaking. Coal converted to coke is used to produce around 70% of the world’s steel. Coal is also widely used in the production of other metals including aluminium and copper.
Cement production: Coal is used as a key energy source in cement production. By-products of coal consumption such as fly ash also play an important role in cement manufacturing and the wider construction industry.
Other industries: Other major users of coal include the paper, textile and glass industries. Coal is also used in the manufacturing of carbon fibre and ingredients such as silicon metals which are used to produce items for the household and personal care sectors.
There are five main advantages of coal.
Accessibility: Coal does not require high-pressure pipelines, expensive protection during transport or costly processing. It is easier to store and handle than alternative, highly flammable fossil fuels or nuclear materials.
Usability: Coal only needs to be mined before it is used. Other fossil fuels must be refined, using lengthy and costly processes. Compared to gas, coal is significantly cheaper and more accessible and its reserves are distributed much more equally around the planet.
Versatility: As well as generating electricity, coal is a core component in iron and steel making and is integral to a range of processes including aluminium refining, paper manufacturing and chemical production.
Affordability: The abundance of coal, its accessibility, straight-from-the-mine usability and lower transport costs, make it an affordable form of energy. Electricity produced from coal is less expensive than other sources.
Safety: Coal is easier and safer to transport, store and handle than alternative, highly flammable fossil fuels or nuclear materials.
Whitehaven Coal places an ongoing emphasis on a strong operational culture and ensuring that the company contributes to sustainable development in the regions where we operate.
We regularly report our activities to the Community Consultative Committee that has been established for each mine we operate. We seek to maintain our social licence by ensuring that we operate sustainably in the Gunnedah Basin.
Whitehaven is committed to safe, responsible and sustainable environmental management across all aspects of our operations.
We are mindful of the impact of our operations on the environment and surrounding communities and undergo extensive assessments for water surface, groundwater, flood impact, flora and fauna, aboriginal cultural heritage, historical heritage, air quality, agriculture and geochemistry impacts.
Across our operations Whitehaven mines only about 2 per cent of the land we own. Nearly 30,000 hectares of Whitehaven land is currently for agricultural purposes and a further 20,000 hectares is designated as conservation areas in perpetuity.
Whitehaven is both a user and producer of energy. We advocate that increasing demand for energy by global customers and the challenge of addressing climate change issues are best met by companies, government and the community working together. Absent broad scale adoption of ultra super critical energy generation technology and the use of higher quality coals, the developing world’s increasing need for secure, affordable energy to fuel continued economic growth clashes with the scale of emission reductions being sought by the developed world.
To assess how carbon policy and regulation will impact our business we closely monitor national and international climate and energy policy developments. We advocate for policies that are environmentally effective and economically efficient.
At an operational level we minimise our energy use where possible. Our energy intensity continues to decrease as we become more efficient and our greenhouse gas emissions per saleable tonne of coal produced have declined from that reported in previous years.
We believe that the high energy, low ash product that we produce will become an increasingly important source of energy for the move to using higher quality coal for power generation.
Our commitment to health and safety is the foundation of how we work toward our goal of everyone going home safe and healthy after each work day. For us to achieve this goal, every person working at Whitehaven must be fully engaged. To this end we are building a positive culture where each person contributes to improving our safety performance and has the confidence to stop work and ensure it is safe. Further information on safety is available here.
Environmental and social issues are important to us and are an integral part of the way we do business. Our commitment is to be:
- A leading producer of some of the world’s highest quality coal
- A company that has locally-based employees wherever possible
- A proud member of and leading employer in the north west NSW region
- A provider of stable and secure employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people
Further information on our work in this area is available here
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Whitehaven Coal has contributed over $850 million to the North West NSW region since 2012.
Around one-third our employees (approximately 330) currently live in the Gunnedah Shire, where last financial year alone we paid $46.2 million in wages this year – money that stays in the local community and helps support local businesses.
As a big part of the local community and the largest employer in the region, Whitehaven is proud of its long-standing community links in North West NSW.
As a proudly Australian company that calls the Gunnedah Basin home, at Whitehaven Coal we don’t take the support of local communities for granted. We want to ensure that the benefits from our operations accrue locally – including to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Whitehaven is proud to have launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Click here to download the document. The Innovate RAP focuses on practical and meaningful efforts Whitehaven will undertake to address issues affecting local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Significantly, Whitehaven set a target that within five years of our new Maules Creek mine commencing production, 10 per cent of the 400 plus strong workforce would be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders decent. At a current level of 15%, we have had a great start and the challenge now is to build on this.
We decided to set ourselves this goal, not because we have to, but because it’s the right thing to do. We believe that self-respect and a secure future very often starts with a skill and a wage.
This plan goes beyond providing jobs at Whitehaven, it also seeks to support the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community by working closely with the Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, improving cultural awareness and understanding and by finding better ways to engage with local Aboriginal women.
We recognise there is a lot more to do and we are committed to working with Whitehaven’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to test and trial approaches to building relationships, showing respect and improving opportunities in the years ahead.
Whitehaven’s fiscal year runs to 30 June.
You can find out Whitehaven’s share price information at the ASX website here. The company code is WHC.
For this information please visit our Financial Calendar page here
Our Annual Report and a range of other corporate documents can be found here
As at January 2016, Whitehaven’s auditor is EY.
Whitehaven securities trade on the ASX exchange. The company code is WHC.