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Coalpac, the company that operates the Cullen Valley black coal mine in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales is, in turn, owned by private Melbourne family owned company, CET Resources. Coalpac have owned coal mines in the area around Lithgow since 1989. The company had up until recently, state government approvals to produce over 2 million tonnes of coal a year, for the domestic market. However, it is presently engaged in negotiations to allow it to lift production levels that would allow it to enter the thermal coal export market. The expansion needed to widen their market included the following:

• Port and rail access to allow it to enter the export market

• The ability to continue to supply their current domestic market as well as their export ambitions

• An increase in annual production rate to three and a half million tonnes a year by 2015

Open cut Mining Centred Around a Central Hill

The Cullen Valley Coal Mine is near the Baal Bone and Invincible Collieries and five kilometres from the Mount Piper Power Station that has been taking 90 percent of its total coal production. The coal seam the Cullen Valley taps into is part of the Illawarra coal measures that consist of outcropping and a central hill that the mine is developing itself around in a clockwise direction. The Cullen Valley Mine mines into the hill as far as can economically afford to go. The maximum seam strip being five bank cubic metres to one tonne of coal. This depends a lot on the quality of the coal being extracted.

Expansion to add 21 Years to the Life of the Mine

The expansion program of the Cullen Valley Mine will extend the life of the mine for a further 21 years. To date the mine has continually evolved from an original underground operation as far back as the latter half of the 1800's. The proposal put forward for expansion approval included the following:

• Plans for rehabilitation of the site

• The necessity of clearing 960 hectares of vegetation in the Ben Bullen State Forest

• The production of 640,000 tonnes of sand products annually

• The upgrading and construction of infrastructure necessary to allow the production of 3.5 million tonnes of coal a year as well as transporting the product from the mine site by both rail and road

• Expanding the high wall and open cut mining capabilities to allow the mining of an extra 108 million tonnes of coal

• The employment of 120 more employees and contractors for the next 21 years

Coal Processing Takes Place On Site

Coal processing and handling is taken care of at the Cullen Valley Mine Crushing Plant with a coal de-shaling plant still at the planning stage. The mine also has its own administrative offices, storage facilities, workshops and bathhouses. Approval has been given for the commencement of underground operations to take place at the Cullen Valley Coal Mine but has not yet been acted upon. The continuation of Cullen Valley coal mining west of the Castlereagh Highway will allow it to access an additional 40.1 million tonnes of coal.

Update-Both the Cullen Valley Coal Mine and the company's adjacent Invincible Colliery have been placed in care and maintenance status since 2013, when their coal reserves had either become uneconomic to mine, or had become exhausted. The decision to not allow the mines to expand was a blow to the region's economic outlook as coal mining had been carried out in the area for the last 50 years.


Coalpac is a privately owned mining company that mines, markets and processes coal.The company currently has operations in New South Wales, with their Invincible Colliery and Cullen Valley mines. They have been functioning mines in the Lithgow region since 1989.


Castlereagh Highway
Cullen Bullen, NSW 2790

PO Box 330 Indooroopilly Centre
Indooroopilly, QLD 4068


Phone02 6359 0600
fax02 6359 0608

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