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State Significant Development


Maxwell Underground Coal Mine Project

Muswellbrook Shire

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Underground mining to produce high quality coals primarily for the steel industry using existing and proposed new infrastructure.

Consolidated Consent

Maxwell Mod 2 Consolidated Consent


Request for SEARs (2)

Maxwell Project_ Scoping Report
Maxwell Project_ SIA Scoping Report

EIS (48)

Maxwell Project Location
1- Executive Summary
2 - Table of Contents
3 - Section 1 - Introduction
4 - Section 2 - Background to the Project
5 - Section 3 - Project Description
6 - Section 4 - Strategic and Statutory Context
7 - Section 5 - Engagement
8 - Section 6 - Environmental Assessment
9 - Section 7 - Rehabilitation and Mine Closure
10 - Section 8 - Summary of Mitigation Measures
11 - Section 9 - Evaluation and Conclusion
12 - Section 10 - References
13 - Section 11 - Abbreviations, Acronyms and Glossary
14 - Attachment 1 - SEARS
15 - Att 2 - Cross Reference of Assessment Requirements Rel
16 - Att 3 - Development Application Area and Real Property
17 - Att 4 - Consent under Section 380AA of Mining Act
18 - Att 5 - CIV Report
19 - Att 6 - Peer Review Letters
20 - Att 7 - Relevant EPIs and Government Policies
21 - Att 8 - AIP and Water Licensing Considerations
22 - Att 9 - Consultation Materials
23 - Att 10 - Gateway Certificate
24 - Att 11 - Review of Ausgrid Power Line Extension
25 - Appendix A - Subsidence Assessment
26 - Appendix B - Groundwater Assessment
27 - Appendix C - Surface Water Assessment
28 - Appendix D - Geomorphology Assessment
29 - Appendix E - Biodiversity Development Assessment Repor
30 - Appendix F - Aquatic Ecology and Stygofauna Assessment
31 - Appendix G - Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment
32 - Appendix H - Historic Heritage Assessment
33 - Appendix I - Noise Impact Assessment
34 - Appendix J – Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Assessment
35 - Appendix K - Road Transport Assessment
36 - Appendix L - Social Impact Assessment
37 - Appendix M - Economic Assessment
38 - Appendix N - Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
39 - Appendix O - Land Contamination Assessment
40 - Appendix P - Geochemistry Assessment
41 - Appendix Q - Agricultural Impact Statement
42 - Appendix R - Human Health Risk Assessment
43 - Appendix S - Environmental Risk Assessment
44 - Appendix T - Preliminary Hazard Analysis
45 - Appendix U - Preliminary Rehabilitation and Mine Closu
46 - Appendix V - Integrated Assessment of Impacts on GDEs

Response to Submissions (2)

Maxwell Project - Submissions Report
Request RTS_26092019_011335

Agency Advice (15)

Heritage Council Advice on RTS
DRG Advice on RTS
BCD Advice on RTS
EPA Advice on RTS
Resources Regulator Advice on RTS
MSC Advice on RTS
EPA Advice on Assessment 8 Jan 20
TfNSW Advice on RTS
DPIE Water Advice on RTS
MSC Response to Malabar on VPA 3 July 20
BCD Advice on Wonnarua People Submission 20 May 20
BCD Advice on Flora Issues 14 July 20
BCD Advice on Flora Issues 21 Aug 20
BCD Advice on Flora Issues 22 May 20
BCD Advice on MNES May 2020

Amendments (1)

Scoping Meeting Request_20190228040019

Additional Information (25)

Malabar Response IPC 30 Oct 20
Malabar Response to IESC 10 Dec 19
Malabar Response to EPA 11 Dec 19
Malabar Response to DPIE 20 Jan 20
Malabar Response to MSC 30 Jan 20
Malabar Response to DPIE Water 28 Feb 20
Malabar Response to DPIE 4 Aug 20
Malabar Response to DPIE 1 June 20
DPIE Request for Information 2 Dec 19
Resources Regulator Request for Information 11 December 19
DPIE Request for Information 20 Dec 19
DPIE Request for Response to MSC 6 Jan 20
MSC Request for Information Jan 20
DPIE Water Request for Information 5 Feb 20
DPIE Request for Information 8 Feb 20
TfNSW Request for Information 27 Feb 20
DPIE Request for Information 30 March 20
DPIE Request for Information 14 May 20
Malabar Response to DPIE 30 April 20
DPIE Request for Information 24 July 20
Supplementary Response to EPA
Malabar Response to BCD 15 June 20
Malabar Response to DPIE 30 July 20
Malabar Response to DPIE MNES 4 August 20
Malabar Response to DPIE Water 9 June 20

Recommendation (3)

Maxwell Underground Recommended Conditions 0920
Maxwell Underground Assessment Report 0920
Maxwell Underground Referral Letter 0920

Determination (3)

Maxwell Underground Notice of Determination
SSD 9526 Development Consent
SSD 9526 Statement of Reasons

Approved Documents

Management Plans and Strategies (73)

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan Approval
Environmental Management Strategy Approval
Environmental Managment Strategy
220503 Let Maxwell UG Project - SIMP - Update
Extension Requests_22112021_093108
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_22042022_104945
Water MP Approval
Spontaneous MP Approval
Traffic MP Approval
Visual Impact MP Approval
AQGG MP Approval
Spontaneous Combustion MP Approval
Noise Blast Management Plan Approval
Visual Impact Management Plan Approval
Traffic Management Plan Approval
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage MP Approval
Noise and Blast MP Approval
Air Quality and GHG Management Plan Approval
Bushfire Management Plan Approval
Bushfire MP Approval
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan
Traffic MP Approval
Bushfire Management Plan
Visual Impact Management Plan
ACHMP Approval
Visual Impact Management Plan
Spontaneous Combustion MP
Water Management Plan
Air Quality & Greenhouse Gas Mmgt Plan Approval
Air Quality Greenhouse Gas Management Plan
Traffic Management Plan
Noise and Blast Management Plan
Spontaneous Combustion Management Plan
220405 Maxwell UG Project - EMS (clean)
Traffic Management Plan
Bushfire Management Plan
Air Quality Greenhous Gas Management Plan
Traffic Management Plan
2022 Maxwell SIMP Final
Noise and Blast Management Plan
220405 Let Maxwell UG Project - EMS
ACHMP Approval
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_13092022_082947
Air Quality & Greenhouse Gas Management Plan
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan
Contaminated Materials Protocol Approval
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_14092021_061836
Contaminated Materials Protocol
Visual Impact Management Plan Approval
Bioremediation MP Approval
Noise and Blasting Management Plan
Spontaneous Combustion Management Plan Approval
Contaminated Materials Protocol Approval
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_29112021_112114
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_25052021_105242
Environment Management Strategy
Visual Impact Management Plan
210521 Maxwell UG Project - AQGGMP (Draft) Clean
Spontaneous Combustion Management Plan
Contaminated Materials Protocol
Bioremediation Management Plan
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_08072021_100537
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_27092021_123639
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_20072021_120558
Water Management Plan
Biodiversity Management Plan
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_12082022_023943
220805 Maxwell UG Project - EAMSIMP (FINAL)
Traffic Management Plan
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan
Spontaneous Combustion Management Plan Approval
Spontaneous Combustion Management Plan

Agreements (2)

Approved Extension Request
Approved Biodiversity Credit Time Extension

Community Consultative Committees and Panels (2)

Approval of CCCs_02092021_013435
210708 Let Maxwell UG Project - CCC

Reports (3)

2021 Annual Review
Biodiversity MP Approval
220420 Maxwell UG Project - BMP FINAL (clean)

Independent Reviews and Audits (2)

2022 Response to Audit Recommendations
2022 Independent Environmental Audit

Notifications (3)

Commencement of construction
Notification to commence development

Other Documents (6)

Appointment of Experts Rehabilitation Strategy
220627 Surrender of Development Consent MP 06_0202
Approved Extension Biodiversity Credit Retirement
Appointment of Experts_12082021_105556

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.


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Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.


Showing 1 - 20 of 245 submissions
Scott Franks and Anor on the behalf of the Wonnarua people
MIRANDA , New South Wales
Maxwell Ventures (Management) Pty Ltd, has submitted an EIS that has failed to address the impact on the Aboriginal heritage contained with in the Registered native title claimed area of Scott Franks and anor on the behalf of the Wonnarua people. our registered native title party have tried to speak with the mining operation regarding the issue and have failed to get any were. the original Aboriginal heritage assessment failed to record the claim groups heritage information and Maxwell Ventures (Management) Pty Ltd refused to work with the Traditional owner and registered native title party to properly record a known Massacre site contained with in the mining operation foot print. Tocomwall Pty Limited assisted with the report that was lodge with the upper hunters breeder association in rejection to theDrayton south licence (EL) 5460 ). the application. i would also like to raise a significant issue regarding a section 29 notification under native title (Rights to negotiate ) the registered Native title party has raised serious concerns with the applicant regarding none compliance of the RTN under a section 29 notice and also section 80c of the NPW Acts. the issues is the mining lease impacts on a section of Crown land that resulted in the issue of a section 29 via Native title process and the current mining company failed to meet is legal obligation under the section 29. the native title party was assured this would happen when the EIS was completed. the EIS has never been revived by the Registered native title party nor has the mining company made available the original heritage assessment.
Name Withheld
RHODES , New South Wales
With our significant reliance on coal likely for some time to come, with power prices also currently largely dependent on coal generated power and with hundreds of local Hunter Valley jobs generated by such a project, I respectfully endorse and support the Maxwell mine . The local Member, Joel Fitzgibbon, supports the project and has always been a strong advocate for responsible mining and job-creation in his electorate.
This underground project, I understand, emits less than 10% emissions of a similar above-ground mine. Pastoral activities will happily co-exist with this project, the National economy will benefit significantly, the environment generally will be responsibly protected, and local jobs and communities will benefit.
I respectfully urge you to permit this important National project to proceed. Thanking you in advance.
Steven Fordham
MUSWELLBROOK , New South Wales
I own a indigenous business in the muswellbrook local area that has been receiving work on site for more than a year .This mine will be a huge benefit to the Muswellbrook area The project will create 350 new direct local jobs, and many more indirect jobs, helping to deliver a stronger and more prosperous local community for decades to come. This project need to be excepted malabar have been a huge support to the muswellbrook community
Scott Carrall
MUSWELLBROOK , New South Wales
I fully support the idea of maxwell going into underground mining.
I believe the impact of mining underground will have a very low impact for the activity undergoing with low dust and noise emissions whilst providing more jobs in the huntervalley mining resources that are greatly needed to keep this country rolling along. Without coal alot of possesions people have wouldnt be here and take for granted how they came to have said possesions. You cant just say mining is bad then jump in your car and drive around and turn on your cooking appliances.all those things come from mining of someform weather it be the creation of steel or the fuels and oils that they use. This will be a good boost for muswellbrook and its revenue.
Malabar coal has a good reputation in the local community with support to local schools, businesses and hospitals and shows no signs to jeopardise that.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
John Saunders
AVALON BEACH , New South Wales
Whilst we move towards renewables we still need (as do the developing economies) coal for Base Line power. The Super Critical and Ultra Super Critical HELE plants require quality coal to achieve the power at the lowest emissions available for coal. This coal comes from the Hunter Valley and Gunnedah Basin (or Columbia who aren't able to export it economically). It makes no sense to stop this higher quality coal being used when there are not alternatives (other than the rubbish we burn in Australia) as yet.
Paul Verner
WOOLLAHRA , New South Wales
To Whom It May Concern
Re: Maxwell Underground Coal Mine Project. SSD-9526

My name is Paul Verner and I have been working in the NSW coal industry for over a decade. During in this time I have seen firsthand the positive contribution that mining brings to the regional centers of NSW. This positive contribution can be seen in the form of new jobs in regions of typical high unemployment, Aboriginal employment which makes real inter generation change and significant direct and indirect contribution to the local, state and federal economies.

In my view primary production including mining, is the lifeblood of the Australian economy and is deeply entwined in the Australian psyche. I understand the counter view against mining which is typically promoted from voices heralding from inner city Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and I would stress that a balance approach to new mining development needs to be considered. It is for this reason I don’t support, 100% of new mining developments and only support projects developed by operators who have a strong track record of economic success, environmental stewardship and positive engagement with coexisting landholders and industries.

Every tonne of natural resources which is mined provides an economic benefit to the local, state and national economy. However as natural resources get depleted the industry needs a pipeline of new projects to ensure this important sector of the Australian economy stays strong and continues contributing to each Australians wellbeing.

It is for these reasons I wish to lodge my support for Malabar Coal’s Maxwell Underground Project. Please refer to the PDF attached for my full submission.


Paul Verner
Kate Wolfgang
DENMAN , New South Wales
I fully support the Maxwell Project. The mining industry in the Hunter is very important to everyone. Especially the Maxwell project as it will not be noticeable to the public eye, less impact on the environment and much less dust. It will create jobs for many people not just the 350 stated, the flow on effect is quite significant. Other business get a chance to grow and flourish because of extra money coming into the area. As I am sure you are all aware their is a history making drought we are in the middle of and this mine will be contributing to help farmers, and other families by giving employment to their children / grandchildren, employment for themselves in many ways not just in the underground. This area would not be surviving if it weren't for the mining industry! That's just fact.
As other business grow so does the employment opportunities. this hugely impacts on mental health / wellbeing. the more jobs available the better. Also local schools, sporting clubs, charities and volunteers all benefit from this aswell. So as there are no negatives to this mine being approved - only positives.
I will be looking forward to the approval going ahead!
Robert Hayes
JERRYS PLAINS , New South Wales
I support Malabar Coal’s Maxwell Underground Project. I live on a farm at Jerry’s Plains to the east of the proposed project with my family. We have owned the property for over 20 years. I am also the Operations Manager for Malabar Coal at the Maxwell Infrastructure and proudly manage rehabilitation at the site and maintenance of the equipment. I find Malabar Coal to be a socially responsible organisation with high ethical standards.

I did not support Anglo’s proposal for Drayton South. With existing open cut mines to the east and north of Jerrys Plains, I did not want another producer of dust to my west. I believe Malabar’s commitment to an underground operation is a fantastic outcome, it provides the benefit of jobs for the community, income for the state of NSW and utilizes existing infrastructure. An underground operation can provide these benefits while addressing the open cut impacts of dust, noise, blasting and visual.

An underground mine should provide certainty for the mine’s neighbours such as farms, residents, horse studs and other businesses.

Malabar’s proposal is a win win outcome for everybody, I support it fully.
McElroy Bryan Geological Services
Wahroonga , New South Wales
McElroy Bryan Geological Services fully supports this Project
Ryan Young
I support the project as the underground mining method has far less impacts on surface features, metallurgical coal source for steel making, majority of exisiting coal handling infrustructure in place, investment in regional area, more jobs not only direct but indirect to support the mine.
Name Withheld
THIRROUL , New South Wales
I support the project due to economic benefits to the region
Phillip Enderby
SPEERS POINT , New South Wales
I support this project for its benefits to the Local Muswellbrook community, and the people of NSW and Australia.
Name Withheld
seaforth , New South Wales
Hello, I have spent a lot of time in Northern Australia and also Hunter region
I support this project for many reasons including, the Hunter needs more jobs, especially in an industry which has had a lot of negative sentiment against it for a while. This project will support the local region for another 25 years.
This group of owners has long successful history of developing and supporting this region with creating 1000's of jobs in this process and millions in royalties to the State of NSW.
I have read the EIS and it is very detailed about all the care they have looked into around making this project sensitive to the local region. It is very important to note being an underground coking (steel making) coal mine and using existing infrastructure rather than a new green field it should be supported by government. Also its important that they are only mining under the freehold they already own, which shows Malabar's aligning of interests. And also the royalties generated by what is the cleanest coal in the world should benefit the state.
More positives about Malabar and its intentions, is seeing they have already achieved great results in the existing rehabilitation of the old Drayton assets, and especially their outlook about also building a solar farm on the existing mine.
I support this development and hope the government does also for the state and local people who I see are majority supporters of the project also. I look forward to seeing it be approved Thanks
Alex Pauza
KEIRAVILLE , New South Wales
Coal mining is a vitally important critical industry to NSW and should be supported. The Hunter Valley is a Critical Industry Cluster for coal mining and coal mining must be encouraged in this area. Underground coal mines are to be supported in-particular due to the markedly lower environmental impacts associated with this form of mining compared to open cut, in particular:
-Lower air quality impacts - typically one to two orders of magnitude lower than an equivalent open cut
-Lower noise impacts - typically far lower noise and vibration impacts
-No hyper-saline final voids; and
-Virtually no impacts on agricultural productivity.

NSW needs coal mining and should support this vital industry that provides cost-effective and virtually unsubsidised energy for electricity ans steel-making - both of which are essential to our modern lifestyles.

I support this project.
Chris March
MUSWELLBROOK , New South Wales
I wish to submit a note of support for the Maxwell Underground Coal Mine Project.
The economic and social benefits of this operation will be significant in the local government area.
The employment of local people, who spend their wages with local businesses will be sustained with the approval of this project.
These businesses also employ many local people who in turn spend their wages with local businesses.
Maxwell, being underground, will extremely low impact with the added advantage of not operating beneath the surface property of other landholders.
The benefits in approving this project are many and I trust that it will be given the full support of the NSW Government.

Yours sincerely
Chris March
Christopher Smith
SINGLETON , New South Wales
I support the Maxwell Underground Project as it will provide 350 new direct, long term jobs for the Hunter Valley region along with many more indirect jobs. The project will inject A$55 million into the local workforce's pockets each year through wages and benefits and provide new regional employment opportunities. This employment is vital for local and state government revenue and will provide a new income stream to keep NSW the premier state.
In addition revenue from the high quality coal will provide A$500 million to A$700 million annually in export income for NSW. It will generate an additional A$1 billion to A$1.25 billion to the NSW State Government and local Council through coal royalties, payroll tax, land taxes and Council rates over the initial 26 years of the project, providing funds for hospitals, schools and regional infrastructure.
The project will use existing coal preparation and rail loading infrastructure on site and will ensure continued utilisation of the existing and very efficient Hunter Valley Coal Chain rail and port infrastructure.
High quality coal deposits near rail and port infrastructure is NSW's competitive advantage. Please ensure this advantage is utilised fully to generate regional employment and revenue for local and state government by approving the Maxwell Underground Coal Mine Project as quickly as possible.
Robert Kennedy
SINGLETON , New South Wales
No more mines in an environment teetering on the edge of catastrophe. Eco tourism ,save our wildlife our water and our land. Enough is enough.
Tyler Wolfgang
JERRYS PLAINS , New South Wales
The Maxwell Project has worked with the NSW government from the start to exceed any and all expectations made by local and surrounding industries, the NSW government and people in the local area. They support the local community through sporting teams, events and charities. I support the Maxwell Project.
Name Withheld
ABERDEEN , New South Wales
Yes this should go ahead, much needed employment in the area.
kellie parish
Martindale , New South Wales
Malabar coal are a highly motivated group passionate about bringing the mining industry and community togeather.
They are proactive for the future of mining in all aspects from the sourcing of coal to the rehabilition of the land to planning of solar to create a more self sustainable cleaner future.
Malabar have endeavoured to maintain that the community is informed of all plans, targets and stages reached in the process before opening. Being dedicated to ensure all questions they public have are answered and concerns addressed.
I support Malabar Coal and their vision for the future of mining.


Project Details

Application Number
EPBC ID Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Coal Mining
Local Government Areas
Muswellbrook Shire
Determination Date
Last Modified By
Last Modified On

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Lauren Evans