Moolarben Coal Mine
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Moolarben Coal Project stage 1 is a coal mine which is currently being developed by Yancoal Australia. The project is located 40 km East of Mudgee in the Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
The mine open cut mine expected to be commissioned in 2010 and the underground mine in 2012. The project will produce 8 million tonnes and 4 million tonnes respectively of thermal coal from the open cut and underground mines. The projected cost is $405 million including for the coal preparation plant. The project will employ 220 people during construction and 300 when operating.
Yancoal states that the "Moolarben resource has approximately 610 million tonnes of high quality Open-Cut and Underground thermal coal with a capacity to produce up to 12 million tonnes per annum." Construction of the project commenced in early 2008 with the first shipments of coal set to be railed to the powet of Newcastle in early 2010. Yancoal states that "capacity of the mine will be increased in stages" as the new Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group coal terminal in Newcastle is commissioned. "Once sufficient port capacity is available at Newcastle it is the intention of the joint venture to commence development of an underground mine in the lower “D” section of the Moolarben lease in an area which is uneconomical for open-cut mining. The underground mine will be a longwall operation," Yancoal states.
On its website, Yancoal Australia states that it has an 80% interest in the Moolarben project as a result of its purchase of Felix Resources Ltd. "Moolarben is an unincorporated Joint-Venture with Sojitz Corporation of Japan (10%), a consortium consisting of Korea Resource Corporation (KORES), Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO) and four of its generator subsidiaries, Kosep, Komipo, Kowepo and Kospo plus Hanwha Corporation Limited (a total of 10%). Yancoal Australia owns 80% of the project and is the manager/operator of the project," Yancoal states on its website.