Drayton is an open-cut thermal coal mine, which began operating in 1983 and currently produces around 5 Mt of thermal coal each year for export and domestic markets.
The mine uses one dragline, excavators and a significant truck fleet and has approximately 300 employees.
Drayton is situated between the towns of Muswellbrook (13 kilometres to the north, population 16,000) and Singleton (34 kilometres to the south, population 23,000) in the Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales. Drayton is 100 kilometres from the major port city of Newcastle (population 150,000) and 200 kilometres from Sydney.
Drayton and the contiguous Drayton South deposit are situated in the Hunter Valley coalfields. Following the upgrade of our Coal Treatment Unit in 2011, Drayton's coal is exported to our power utility customers in North Asia.
Ownership and operation
Drayton is owned by Anglo American (88%) and joint venture partners NCE Anglo American, Mitsui Coal Anglo American, Daesung Anglo American and Hyundai Anglo American. The mine is operated and managed by Anglo American.
The Hunter Valley area is recognised as the site of one of the most significant coal deposits in Australia. However, it also supports a strong and growing wine and associated tourist industry and is a centre for thoroughbred horse breeding. In recent years, the growing diversity of the area and its attractive country lifestyle has been a magnet for both tourists and potential new residents.
The New South Wales Hunter Valley is a unique region where a range of industries including mining farming, horse breeding and wine growing have developed and prospered alongside each other for many years. Our Drayton mine has a 30-year history in the Hunter Valley, working closely with local stakeholders, communities and businesses to ensure we are, and continue to be a good neighbour.
Drayton achieved ISO 14001 certification during 2003, and for many years has maintained a strong rehabilitation programme. This includes environment awareness training for employees. Additional intensive training is also provided to employees engaged in areas of high environmental impact, including blasting and waste management.
For more than 20 years, Drayton has maintained a sound relationship with the local community. Regular meetings of the Community Consultative Committee, mine open days, mining expos and forums are among the many initiatives undertaken to foster better understanding and cooperation among all stakeholders. Drayton also provides donations, sponsorship and in-kind support to local community organisations that provide a wide range of services to the community.
Historically, we have provided funding to local health and education-focused initiatives including:
- $10,000 to DeenCity Youth Group towards the construction of Aberdeens's first state park.
- Help with funding Scone Scouts attendance to 2013 Australian Jamboree.
- $10,000 to Aberdeen's Community Caring Inc. to fund a new public gym.
- A donation of Laerdal Heartstart defibrillator to St. Mary's Primary School in Scone.
- 10 Laptop computers to paedatric Oncology Unit at Newcastle's John Hunters Children's Hospital.
- Three year Gold Sponsorship with Aberdeen's Highland Games celebrating the township's rich Scottish history and culture.
A significant amount of indigenous cultural heritage fieldwork has been undertaken by Drayton. We have also developed study programmes and research around new mining areas. Consultation with a number of local indigenous groups is ongoing and will continue for the life of the mine.
Drayton obtained a mine extension approval in February 2008. This approval extends the mine’s life to 2017 and allows flexibility by increasing approved tonnage to 8 Mtpa. This approval requires the development of various management plans and commissioning of new infrastructure.