Maules Creek Mine

Maules Creek Mine

Commercial production at Maules Creek commenced on 1 July 2015 with the mine producing 7.4Mt saleable coal in FY2016. The mine was operating at an annualised rate of over 9.5Mt at the end of FY2016 following its production ramp up during the year.

Maules Creek was awarded Mining Operation of the Year by NSW Minerals Council, a significant achievement in its first year of operation.

Construction activities at the mine were effectively completed early in FY2016 with total capital expenditure for the project of $701 million. The project came in under the budget of $767 million and ahead of the original schedule. Maules Creek is one of the lowest cost coal mining projects developed over the past decade.

A key feature of Maules Creek’s performance during FY2016 has been the high quality of its thermal and metallurgical coal products. Maules Creek thermal coal is one of the highest quality coals sold into the Asian seaborne market. Many of our customers are utilising this high energy low ash coal in new HELE technology power stations to reduce their emissions.

The quality of its metallurgical coal product has exceeded the expectations of most. Many steelmakers have provided feedback in relation to the positive contribution of Maules Creek’s semi-soft coking coal to their coking blends.

Sales of semi-soft coking coal during FY2016 were above expectations and sales are expected to increase as production ramps up to the approved level of 13Mtpa.

There were 390 people employed at Maules Creek at the end FY2016. Many of these employees live locally. This is consistent with Whitehaven’s aim to ensure that the local community is a key economic beneficiary of the mine. Employee and contractor numbers have grown from about 200 at the beginning of FY2016 while Aboriginal employees make up 13% of the total, exceeding the 10% target set by the company when Maules Creek started operating. Approximately 15% of employees at site are female.

Maules Creek’s coal reserves have been updated as part of Whitehaven’s annual update of its coal resources and reserves under the JORC code 2012. This update incorporates an increase in Maules Creek coal reserves to 510Mt. This represents an upgrade of 129Mt relative to the coal reserves of 381Mt declared at the end of FY2015.

Ownership Whitehaven 75%, ICRAMC Pty Ltd 15% (an entity associated with Itochu Corp) and J-Power 10%
Location 45km south east of Narrabri and 17km north east of Boggabri in the Gunnedah Basin of New South Wales, Australia
Tenements CL375 and AUTH346
Coal Types 50% SSCC/PCI coal and 50% high energy, low sulphur, low ash thermal coal
Life of Mine 3 30+ years
Coal Reserves 510Mt
Coal Resources 660Mt
2016 Production Target 7.1Mt–7.3Mt ROM coal
2016 Actual Production 7.8Mt ROM coal
2017 Production Target 9.5Mt–9.8Mt ROM coal