aka Nth. Bulli No 2 Colliery
1878 – 1973
Closed: 1972 (Clutha)
Re-opens: 1973 (purchased?)
*In the late1800’s, the area north of Bulli was colloquially known as North Bulli, the main township being Coledale, made up mainly of coal miners and their families.
The North Bulli Coal & Iron Mining Co. was formed in 1876 to open a mine on the North Bulli Estate, purchasing land north of Coledale, Wombarra and Scarborough.
In 1878 the Bulli seam (4’ thick) was opened and proposals to construct a jetty on Long Nose Point were made. The jetty was never built and the mine lagged.
*In 1884 The North Illawarra Coal Company was formed producing coal at North Bulli (Austinmer) in 1886. The mine location was selected by a Mr. D. Moresby, a colliery manager from Yorkshire, England. The coal was shipped out from an 860’ long jetty built at the southern end of Coledale Beach and just north of the headland. A rail link existed to the mine.
*In January 1887, coal was being loaded out from the North Bulli Mine onto the 268 ton “Waratah” via the jetty. While loading coal at the jetty on 7th, June, 1887, the “Waratah” was lost when a southerly wind caused her to drag her anchor chains and break her mooring rope, blowing the ship across a reef and onto the beach.
This mine was worked out and closed in 1895.
*Another mine was opened one mile north of the jetty at Coledale in 1889 and was also linked by rail. The mine closed in 1898 and the jetty abandoned, later collapsing and eventually burning in 1915.
In March, 1902, North Bulli Colliery Ltd finally opened the mine immediately above the Coledale Railway Station with a rail siding connected to the Government Railway. Named North Bulli No. 2, this was the development of the 1889 mine, abandoned because of excess water.
The company was under the control of Hyde and Cater. Cater was a large shareholder and had previously managed South Bulli. The mine was officially opened in November, 1903, the first manager being Thomas Cater, managing it till his death in 1912.
Owing to the thin seam Longwall was resorted to and Sullivan coal-cutters were installed.
The South Coast Times, 19th November, 1904, reported that Coledale Colliery (formerly North Bulli No. 2) had installed a longwall cutting machine.
*A battery of 50 coke ovens were added in 1905, a further 50 in 1908. The coke works continued until the mine closed in 1926.
In 1909 production was some 900 tons/day; however in 1910 a large fault was encountered.
Areas of inferior coal and the large downthrow fault of 180 feet to the south west and a short distance from the outcrop restricted the mine. Finally the fault was penetrated and a large size mine developed to the west by bord and pillar methods.
The company owned 2 Locomotives and 150 x 10 ton wagons which were used to head coal to Red Point (Pt. Kembla) where the jetty and connecting railway had been leased from the Southern Coal Company. Ships of large size were coaled at this jetty (4000 ton).
*In 1926 Coledale Mine (Nth Bulli Mine) closed. Attempts to reopen the mine and coke works were made in the early 1930’s and then were abandoned.
*1942 – The North Bulli mine re-opened and closed again in 1974
1960 – Unsuccessful attempt to re-open Coledale Colliery (DoMAR 1960)
1963 – Austinmer Colliery entrances bricked up.
Sellers, G. 1976. The Illawarra Coalfield – A Brief History to 1905. A paper presented to The AusIMM. Conference, Illawarra, 1976.
Harper, L. F. F.G.S. Geology and Mineral Resources of the Southern Coal-Field, Part 1 – The South Coastal Portion, Dept. of Mines, 1915.
*Barnes, G. W. History of Coledale
Wollongong Library web site