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About: The Coalpac owned Invincible Colliery located in the western coal fields of New South Wales, 160 kilometres west of Sydney, near the blue mountains town of Cullen Bullen, appears to have lost its fight for survival, when, in October, 2014, the Planning Assessment Commission of New South Wales rejected Coalpac proposals to extend coal mining activities at the site.

Invincible Colliery Expansion Denied Despite Council Support

The Invincible Colliery extension proposals were supported by the local Lithgow Council but the commission claimed granting approval to extend the mine would have threatened the habitat of threatened species and would have intruded on the region's unique rock structure that had a high conservation value.

Invincible Colliery on Care and Maintenance Since 2013

Both the Invincible Colliery and the company's adjacent Cullen Valley Coal Mine had 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. The Invincible Colliery had been supplying coal to the Mount Piper Power Station which had been operated by Energy Australia as well as supplying domestic thermal coal producers.

Market Downturn Closes Invincible Colliery in 1988

The coal mining tenements held by Invincible Colliery covered an area of 2,500 hectares. The mine is well equiped with coal handling and preparation facilities that were designed for the production of up to 1.5 million tonnes of coal a year using longwall mining methods. However, longwall mining was shut down and taken from the site in 1988 when a downturn occurred in the coal mining market.

Coalpac Acquire Invincible Colliery in 1989

Coalpac Pty Ltd acquired the Invincible Colliery in 1989 and operated it as a bord and pillar mining operation. In more recent times it has been operated as an open cut coal mine. The open cut was operated in a conventional manner using haulage trucks, loaders and excavators, exploiting coal located in the Irondale and Lithgow coal seams.

Denied Expansion Plan Would Have Extended Invincible Life to 2020

The Invincible Colliery expansion proposal, that was lodged by Coalpac in 2014, sought to develop land within the companies mining tenements that would allow Coalpac to mine coal using a highwall and open cut method that would have provided a short term supply of coal for use at the Mount Piper Power Station, while alternate longer term sources were found. The proposal would have extended operations to 2020 and would have allowed open cut mining over an 88 hectare area. A further 86 hectares would have been needed to allow highwall underground mining that would have created no surface disturbances. Water needs would have been provided from the Cullen Valley mine.


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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