The company said in a statement this week that the mine in New South Wales, which it co-owns with Japanese-based Marubeni Corp. and JFE Minerals, had initially been slated to be idled in late 2016 or early 2017.
“Consideration had been given to a number of options to extend the mine’s life, but a combination of factors, especially coal market and economic conditions, do not support continued operations,” officials said.
Part of the decision was also reportedly tied to its decision not to mine a longwall block near a large conservation area.
West Wallsend, with a workforce of about 300, produced 2.6 million metric tons of coal in 2014, mostly thermal. The total was about half of its previous average.