The Glendell open-pit coal mine that forms part of Glencore’s Mount Owen coal mining operations in Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia, is proposed for expansion to more than double its annual production capacity while extending the mine life until 2044.
Owned and managed by Glencore, the Mount Owen Complex comprises three open-cut mines, namely Mt Owen (North Pit), Ravensworth East (Bayswater North Pit) and Glendell (Barrett Pit), as well as an integrated coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP).
The Glendell mine, which has been producing since June 2008, has the current mining permit to produce up to 4.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of coal until June 2024.
Glencore submitted the development application for the Glendell coal mine expansion in December 2019. The expansion project targets 135 million tonnes (Mt) of additional coal resources by extending open-cut mining to the north of the existing site.
Glendell coal mine expansion details
The Glendell coal mine expansion project, also known as the Glendell continued operations project, is expected to increase the production capacity of the mine to 10Mtpa.
The project aims at maintaining the existing total production capacity of the Mount Owen Complex for a longer period, as coal output from the Mt Owen and Ravensworth East mines are expected to decline in the future.
The Glendell coal mine expansion project will utilise existing infrastructure and equipment at the Mt Owen Complex.
The existing Glendell mine infrastructure area (MIA) will be removed and a new MIA will be constructed as part of the expansion project.
A preliminary environmental assessment (PEA) for the project was completed in May 2018, while the final environmental impact assessment (EIA) was completed in November 2019.
Location and geology
The Glendell mine is located at Ravensworth, within the Hunter Coalfields in the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia.
The mine site is situated approximately 20km northwest of Singleton and approximately 24km south-east of Muswellbrook.
The Glendell mine targets eight coal seams of the Foybrook Formation, which is the bottommost coal-bearing formation of the Wittingham Coal Measures.
The targeted coal seams starting from the Lemington seam at the top to the Hebden seam at the bottom span for a depth of approximately 200m.
Coal reserves at the Glendell mine
The proven and probable reserves at the existing Glendell open-pit mine are estimated to be 16Mt, while the measured and indicated coal resources are estimated to be 60Mt.
The Glendell continued operations project targets an additional 135Mt of coal reserves to the north of the existing pit.
Mining and coal processing
Glendell is a conventional open-pit coal mine operation involving overburden removal through drilling and blasting, and coal extraction with the use of large excavators and haul trucks. The mining fleet also includes graders, dozers, water carts, drills, and loaders.
The extracted coal is sent in rear dump trucks via internal haul roads to the run-of-the-mine (ROM) coal receiving point near the Mt Owen CHPP.
The Mt Owen CHPP has the capacity to process up to 15Mt of coal a year.
The product coal from the CHPP is conveyed to the product coal stockpile, from where it is further conveyed to the fully automated train lead-out facility.
The coal produced at the Mt Owen CHPP is shipped from the port of Newcastle which is located approximately 120km away from the Mt Owen Complex.
Consultants involved with the Glendell coal mine expansion project
Australia-based Umwelt Environmental Consultants prepared the PEA as well as the EIA reports for the Glendell coal mine expansion project.