The impetus for the closure, the producer said, was a recommendation by the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) late last year to reject the project.

A small team will remain at the mine to oversee rehabilitation, though the company did not elaborate on further specifics or a timeline for that work.

“Anglo American is extremely disappointed that ceasing operations is required,” officials said, adding that it will determine its further actions depending on the final outcome of the PAC process for the Drayton South mine, which is pending approval. “The safety of our employees remains our No. 1 priority during this difficult time.”

Anglo had said earlier this year that it was eyeing a closure of the mine, located between Muswellbrook and Singleton, by the end of this year. However, it did not outline a specific ending date at that time.