Project Progress

January 2015 update


Construction at Maules Creek started in January 2014. Railings of coal commenced in December 2014, three months ahead of schedule. The project is currently the largest coal mine under construction in Australia and will be one of the lowest cost open cut coal mines in Australia.


Its initial production rate is planned to be 6 Mtpa (from March 2015), however over a period of three years production will increase to its approved production level of 13Mtpa ROM coal.


Production is expected to consist of high quality thermal coal, for use by electricity generators, and specialist metallurgical coals, for use by steel makers, both marketed to end users in the premium Asian markets.


Construction activity at Maules Creek is ahead of schedule and was 87% complete at the end of the December quarter. The next major milestone is the main washing section of the coal handling and preparation plant, due to be completed in early May and commissioned over a two month period enabling the production of metallurgical coal products from July 2015.


During construction, the project has provided employment for up to 600 full time equivalents and contractors. The construction workforce on site has begun to wind down as work is completed on several major elements of the project.


Once fully operational, the mine will employ around 450 full time workers. Most will be hired from the local Gunnedah/Narrabri region. The number of Maules Creek employees will gradually increase from 151 at the end of the December quarter as people are recruited to operate the additional mining equipment.


In addition, residents of New South Wales will benefit significantly from the royalties paid that will be used by the State Government to provide important essential services throughout NSW.


Whitehaven has committed that the Maules Creek workforce will consist of at least 10 per cent from the indigenous and aboriginal community within five years. Following the initial recruitment of 100 employees, we are on target to achieve the stated aim.


For more information on job vacancies at Maules Creek and details how to apply please visit here.


The Maules Creek Project Team




Maules Creek Coal Project is located in the heart of the Gunnedah Basin and is within close proximity of critical infrastructure. It is approximately 18km north-east of Boggabri and only 16km from the main railway line servicing the coal terminals at the Port of Newcastle, which is 360km south-east of the project.

Coal types
High quality, low ash, low sulphur and low phosphorus semi-soft coking coal and low ash, low sulphur, high energy thermal coal.


Maules Creek Coal Joint Venture.


Tenements: CL 375 and (A) 346

Mining Operations

The Maules Creek Project was fully approved in July 2013.

It is one of the last major undeveloped and significant multi-seam coal deposits in New South Wales and is expected to sustain a potential project life in excess of 30 years. It is approved to extract up to 13 Mt of coal per annum and rail 12.4 Mt of product from the site in any calendar year.

First coal sales occured on Friday 9 January 2015.

Production Statistics

Whitehaven's most recent production statistics can be found in our Quarterly Reports released to the Australian Securities Exchange. You can find the most recent Quarterly Report here.


The Maules Creek Project is considered to be one of only a few remaining Tier 1 undeveloped coal assets in Australia. It is also one of the largest coal deposits in Australia with 362Mt of recoverable reserves.

Joint Venture Participants

Joint Venture ParticipantInterest
Whitehaven* 75.0%
J-Power 10%