Donaldson Coal


Abel Coal Mine was an underground bord and pillar operation that commenced mining in 2007 and was placed in Care and Maintenance in 2016. Feasibility studies to consider potential future mining options have commenced and the majority of Abel’s underground employees were successfully redeployed to the neighbouring Ashton and Austar mines.


Abel Underground Mine is located approximately 25km from the Port of Newcastle, with the portal coming off the high wall of the Donaldson Open-Cut Mine.

The underground lease area extends southwards from John Renshaw Drive towards George Booth Drive and is bounded on the eastern side by F3 Freeway and by Buttai Creek to the west.

Mining Operation

Abel is a bord and pillar operation, which uses continuous miners for first workings and secondary extraction. This two stage process accommodates irregular shaped coal deposits, enables adjustment to extraction for better management of subsidence and maximizes the efficiency of the operation.

When operational, the mine uses existing surface infrastructure and the Bloomfield Coal Handling and Preparation Plant, rail loader and rail loop for coal processing and loading.

Coal Preparation

Following extraction, coal would be transported via conveyor through the high wall to the surface infrastructure area of the Donaldson Open Cut Mine. It is then transported to the Bloomfield Coal Handling and Preparation Plant, where it would be processed and loaded for transport by rail to Port.

Transportation and Export

The washed coal would be transported by rail and exported through the Port of Newcastle.