Abel is a bord and pillar operation located around 25km from the Port of Newcastle. It uses continuous miners for first workings and secondary extraction. The two-stage process maximises the efficiency of the operation accommodating irregular shaped coal deposits, enabling adjustment to extraction for better management of subsidence.
The Toyota lean process was introduced to the mine in 2012 with the goal of reducing costs and improving productivity, which was achieved.
Once the coal has been extracted, it is transported via conveyor through the high wall to the surface infrastructure area of the Donaldson open cut mine. From there it is taken to the Bloomfield coal handling and preparation plant where further processing takes place, before being loaded for transport by rail to port.