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The Austar coal mine is located eight kilometres from Cessnock in the Lower Hunter Valley Region of New South Wales, it was formerly known as the Southland Coal Mine but re-named Austar by Chinese miner Yancoal after acquiring it in late 2004. The mine employs over 400 direct employees and contractors.

Yancoal Began Mining at the Austar Mine in 2006
Yancoal re-commenced mining operations at the Austar underground coal mine in 2006, following considerable investment, that ensured long-term viability of the mine for at least the next 30 years. A large tenement holding near the mine remains relatively unexplored and has high potential to contain large additional coal resources. The Austar mine produces a coal that is considered the lowest ash and highest fluidity coking coal in Australia. It is a highly sought after premium semi-hard coking coal with low alkalis and low phosphorous levels. After it is mined, processed and washed, the coal taken by rail via Pacific National on the Hunter Valley Rail System the 65 kilometres to the Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) terminal, at the Newcastle port, from where it is exported to general industry and steel makers around the world.

Longwall Top Coal Caving Technology Introduced at the Austar Mine

Upon the acquiring of the Austar Mine, Yancoal went about introducing a new coal mining technology to Australian coal mining. This new technology is known as Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) method of mining. This method of mining was first used in France and has been further refined in Chinese mines over the last 15 years.

The new technology is ideally suited for mining thick coal seams as it enables far greater coal recovery in seams such as those encountered in the Austar Greta Seam. The LTCC method of mining recovers an extra 80 percent of coal from the seam, this significantly increases recovery of the in-ground coal resource. The Austar Mine has a coal resource of 221 million tonnes with a coal proven reserve of 12.7 million tonnes and a probable reserve of 31.5 million tonnes that gives a total reserve of 44.2 million tonnes.

Major Upgrading Carried out at the Austar Mining Operation
Continuous miners are used at the Austar Mine for gate-road development and underground access mains along with the 230 metre wide Longwall Top Coal Caving method of long-wall extraction. This major underground development also demanded the significant upgrading of the surface facilities that included; enlarged office facilities, a electrical power sub- station, a workshop, winders, fans and the installation of ventilation on shafts etc.

The Austar coal preparation plant is able to treat 550 tonnes of coal an hour by means of the standard coal processing technology. The ROM coal yield at the Austar Mine averages between 85 and 90 percent.

Austar Mine's Stage Three Development now Underway
When the mine was re-commissioned in 2005 it got underway with a three stage plan of mine development. Stage one and stage two have now been completed and the mining operation is now undertaking stage three. Stage three involves the longwall being moved into a new area where a further 40 million tonnes of coal is available to be mined. It involves the mining of coal in longwalls A7 to A19 as well as the chain pillar widths being increased to 55 metres from the previous 45 metres. This is being done to reduce the chance of roadway failure and to minimise subsidence.


Fomed in 2004, taking over Felix Resources in 2009 and completed an $8 billion merger with Gloucester Coal and was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2012.Operating in NSW, Qld and WA with surface and underground coal operations.Yancoal also manages on behalf of its major more


68 York Street
Sydney, NSW 2000


Phone02 8243 5300

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