Anglo American to close Drayton coal mine

Anglo American will close its Drayton coal mine early as it fails to get approvals for its Drayton South project.

The current Drayton mine will cease operations at the end of September, as opposed to previously set date of December 2017.

“Anglo American is extremely disappointed that ceasing operations is required and will determine further action depending on the final outcome of the Drayton South project approval,” the miner said in an official statement.

According to Anglo American around 200 jobs will be lost, although a small team will be retained to manage the mine’s rehabilitation commitments.

Concerns were raised earlier this year over Anglo American’s ability to rehabilitate the mine.

Conditions for the Drayton mine specify a three year period of decommissioning and rehab after the December 2017 closure, however a 2014 Planning and Assessment Commission report said it was “not confident” the work would be carried out.

The proposed Drayton South extension plan was put forward as a way to extend the Anglo American operations in the Hunter Valley, however it saw consistent setbacks during its approval process, which have nixed the extended closure date.

Late last year the project was given the greenlight by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The DPE gave preliminary recommendations that that project be approved by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC).

This is the third time the project has reached this stage, after being rejected twice previously, forcing the mine to change its development plans.

Anglo’s previous plans for Drayton South were rejected by the PAC because of the effect it would have on nearby horse studs.

However this has now hit another roadblock.

Despite Drayton’s shutdown, Anglo says it remains engaged with the PAC process for the Drayton South project.

Anglo American is still carrying out its plan to exist Australia completely, and has sold off its stakes in a number of coal mines to date, and is currently on the hunt for buyers for its Grosvenor and Moranbah North coal mines.

 

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