The coal loaders on the waterfront around Newcastle harbour are a dominant aspect of the horizon when viewed from Newcastle City. Newcastle (Port Waratah) is the world’s largest coal export port. Rising demand for coal, particularly in the Asian region (South Korea, Japan, China) has resulted in a strong increase in the volume of coal exported through the port.
Xstrata Coal NSW dominates the tonage through Newcastle and is the states largest coal producer with 10 mining operations in the Hunter Valley. Most of the coal comes from open cut coal mines. Much of the underground coal mines supply the regions power stations with thermal coal. The mines of the Hunter Valley export various blends of anthracite much of which is coking coal bound for Asian steel mills.