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The Cumnock coal mine was an underground and open cut mine located south of the Macquarie Generation Power Stations between the New South Wales Hunter Valley towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook. The Cumnock coal mine is part of the Ravensworth Operations which is 90 percent owned by Glencore Coal and 10 percent owned by Itochu.

Coal Mining Began at the Cumnock Mine in the 1950's

Coal mining commenced at Cumnock during the 1950's. At that time it was an underground mine and known as the Liddell State Coal Mine. The Cumnock mine was purchased by Xstrata Coal from the Electricity Commission in 1991. The acquisition was made through Xstrata's wholly owned subsidiary Hellios Australia Pty Ltd. When Xstrata and Glencore merged the Cumnock mine became part of the Ravensworth Surface Operations.

Open cut Mining at Cumnock Began in 1993

The initial underground mining was carried out the Cumnock mine by using longwall mining methods. Open cut mining was first undertaken at Cumnock during 1993 and 1994. Open cut mining re-commenced in late 2002, however, both mining methods ceased in 2008, apart from a small reserve known as the Wash Plant Pit located below the Cumnock coal handling and preparation plant. This small pit was mined at a rate of one million tonnes a year until it became mined out in 2011. Before mining began at the Wash Plant Pit the Cumnock CHPP (coal handling and preparation plant) site had been de-commissioned. This meant that ROM coal taken from the Wash Plant Pit had to be hauled by truck to the Ravensworth CHPP to be processed in readiness for transportation.

Cumnock Underground Mine Closed in 2003 Because of Geological Problems

The Cumnock mine is now used to hold wet tailings pumped out of the Ravensworth Coal Plant as part of the tailings placement program along with other rehabilitation work. When the Cumnock underground mine was closed in 2003 after 50 years of operation Xstrata claimed the mine was no longer viable because of geological problems and it would be wound down in stages with 145 workers losing their jobs. No coal mining has taken place at the Cumnock mine since 2011.

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