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The West Wallsend black coal underground mine and its associated Macquarie Coal Preparation Plant (MCPP), located in the Newcastle Coalfields in New South Wales, is operated by Oceanic Coal Australia Limited (OCAL). The mine is owned by Macquarie Coal Joint Venture, a company that consists of OCAL, Marubeni Coal Pty Ltd, OCAL Macquarie Pty Ltd and JFE Minerals (Australia) Pty Ltd. OCAL owns OCAL Macquarie Pty Ltd which in turn is wholly owned by Xstrata Coal (Australia) Pty Ltd. The Macquarie Coal Preparation Plant processes all of the Run of Mine (ROM) coal produced at the West Wallsend mine.

A Coal Mine Beneath Cockle Creek Near Lake Macquarie

The West Wallsend mine is situated on Cockle Creek approximately 110 kilometres north east of Sydney, near Lake Macquarie. Residential areas nearby include; Teralba, Wakefield, Killingworth and Barnsley, all in the Lake Macquarie local government area.

The actual underground mine workings at the West Wallsend mine are taking place in the West Borehole, Borehole, Yard, Dudley and Nobbys coal seams apart from a few roadways in the Young Wallsend seam at the pit bottom. The West Borehole roof is mostly composed of Nobbys Tuff claystone with the floor mostly shale grading to sandstone. The coal seam height at West Borehole changes from three metres in some places to over six metres in others, throughout the site. In 2008 the estimated coal reserve at the West Wallsend mine was 119 million tonnes with recoverable reserves estimated as being 59 million tonnes.

West Wallsend Mine Produces Both Coking and Energy Coal

Both coking and energy coal are recovered from the West Wallsend Colliery with most of its production being taken to the port at Newcastle for exporting overseas. A lesser amount is sold locally for domestic and coking use.

Longwall Panels go for Three Kilometres

The layout of the West Wallsend coal mine is divided into a Western and Northern domain. The longwall panels of the Northern Domain run in a north east-south west direction with the main development located under the F3 Freeway. Long term stable support is provided by coal pillars. Longwall panels at the West Wallsend mine are planned to make the most of coal quality during extraction so that surface subsidence impacts are minimised. Longwall lengths can vary between two and three kilometres with each block being around 175 metres in width.

All Coal is Processed at the Adjoining MCPP

After the coal is taken to the surface it is fed into a Bradford breaker to remove raw coal impurities. It is then taken by conveyor to a 2000 tonne load out bin to await loading into haul trucks. From there the haul trucks take the coal along private dedicated roads to the MCPP for processing. All ROM coal taken from the West Wallsend mine is processed at the MCPP. The raw coal's stockpile of blended coal is fed into the MCPP by means of a conveyor. Here the coal is screened and separated according to its size before being rinsed and taken away to be deposited as either coking or energy coal and placed into stockpiles based on quality.

The processed coal is ultimately conveyed to a rail out bin for loading onto train wagons to take it to the port at Newcastle for shipment. Some of the coal is taken to the Eraring Power Station along an internal road at the mine site whenever it's required.

Note- GlencoreXstrata was formed following a merger of Glencore International and Xstrata, the merger was completed in May 2013. But a decision was made by the Company's shareholders during the annual general meeting and the announcement was made in May 2014 that Glencore will drop Xstrata and be simply known as Glencore.rn


Glencore dates back to 1974 as Marc Rich & Co, focused on minerals, metals and crude oil. In the 1980's Glencore added coal to their portfolio. Glencore is one of the worlds largest natural resource companies with more than 90 offices in over 50 countries, over 150 mining and metallurgical more


Level 38, 1 Macquarie Place
Sydney, NSW 2000



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