- Works commenced: 1959
- Opened: 1962
- Seam: Bulli
- Location: at southern edge of Appin township, 37 km from Wollongong.
- Owner: BHP/BHPBilliton/South32
Mining the Bulli seam at depths to 550 metres, Appin produces prime quality coking coal for Pt. Kembla steelworks.
A change in mining method from bord and pillar to longwall in 1969 allowed the mine to achieve competitive production levels.
Initially serviced by 2 vertical ventilation shafts and 2 drifts (a belt conveyor and a men & materials drift).
1962 – Appin Colliery commences production.
1963 – The main slope conveyor is installed; steel cored, 6270’-0’ (1911.1m) c-c, 1708’ (520.6m) rise with 1700HP motor and a 3000t surface bin constructed.
1964 – A Goodman Type 429 borer type continuous miner is introduced mid-year. Mining 7’-6” [2.286m] in a 9’-6” [2.896m] Bulli seam and 13’ [3.96m] wide. (Mine & Quarry Mechanisation, 1965)
1965 – Appin receives its first Fox Diesel “Torkar” Shuttle Car. (Mine & Quarry Mechanisation, 1965)
The Goodman Type 429 borer type continuous miner is re-introduced in March after modifications allowing mining to 8’-0” (2.44m) (DoMAR 1965)
1968 – Production (planned 1969) 2,600 tons/day. Ventilation is by 2 x concrete lined shafts and 2 x parallel drifts (@ 16 degrees); the larger 8’4” high x 11’6” wide with a 960HP direct rope haulage radio controlled man car. Used for transport of men and materials. The second is nominally 7’ high x 8’6” wide containing the main coal haulage conveyor. This conveyor is a single flight steel cord belt 6,270’ long operating at 632ft/min and a capacity of 600 tons/hr. Approximately 37” wide and weighing 33 lb/ft. Mining operations are by continuous miners and shuttle cars. (AIS Illawarra Collieries Brochure)
1969 – May, Longwall is installed consisting of an Anderson Boyes double drum ranging shearer with Dowty E type supports of 600 ton capacity (6 x 100 ton legs). 160 yard face, 2’ web and 30” panzer face conveyor. (AIS Illawarra Collieries Brochure)
Drifts:- 1870m @ 1:3 to Bulli Seam at 480m depth
M&M Drift: - rope haulage, 750 kW
Belt Drift: - conveyor, 600 tph, 1300 kW.
4 Continuous miners plus 1 Long Wall
Worked Seam; Bulli, 2.8 m with heavy roof.
360 men, 4000 tpd. 4 x 6 hr shifts x 5 days – Road transport to O’Brien’s Drift (1975 Symposium)
1981 – Methane drainage commences at Appin (BHP Collieries Handbook Dec 1993)
1989 – Snapshot: - Production 1,730,600t ex l/w, 380,800t ex development, 2,111,400t ROM total, washed at the steelworks.
L/wall blocks 196m face x 1650m w/- 450-500m cover. Shearer: - Eickhoff DERDS, EDW – 200L, 2.45m drum, Uni-Di. Roof support: - Westfalia 4-leg chock shield, 700t yield. 1 x Alpine Miner, 6 x Joy 10CMs, 12 x Joy 22SC s/cars. Bulli seam (2.4m).
Road haulage to O’Brien’s Drift then rail to Port Kembla steelworks. (NSW Coal Yearbook 1988-89 J.C.B.)
1992 – On site coal preparation plant commences at Appin (BHP Collieries Handbook Dec 1993)
1993 – April, Geoff Todd, current Planning and Environmental Manager is appointed Mine Manager (Coal News May 1993)
Appin Colliery – Visitors Information Booklet – 1994/95
Situated approximately 70 kms south of Sydney
Started production in 1962
Works Bulli seam to depths up to 550 metres
Prime quality coking coal used at Pt Kembla and Newcastle or blended with other BHP coal for export to India, Turkey and England.
Thermal coal exported to Japan and Thailand
Serviced by 2 vertical ventilation shafts and 2 inclined drifts. The shafts are 540 m in depth and the drifts approximately 1.8 km at 1 in 3.5.
The larger drift (2.5 x 3.5m) is used for the transport of men and materials via an automatic winder, entirely controlled by radio signals transmitted from the train at the end of the haulage rope.
The second drift (2.3 x 2.6 m) contains the single flight steel cord main slope conveyor. All coal is brought to the surface via this belt, having a rated capacity of 1000 tonnes/hr. The belt is fed from a 300 tonne underground bin.
Methane drainage was introduced in 1981 without which the current rate of production could not be maintained.
Heavy, closely spaced, steel roof supports were used until 1982 when “W” straps and chemically anchored roof bolts were introduced.
Longwall mining was introduced in 1969 with a gradual increase in average daily output from 895 tonnes/day from LW1 to 10150 tonnes/day from LW24
1979 – A “Corex” tube bundle methane monitoring system is installed. (DoMAR 1979)
In 1988 a daily record production of 20011 tonnes was achieved.
The colliery was budgeted for 2.4 million tonnes in 1993/94 with around 403 people.
Gas drainage includes inseam pre drainage, cross measures post drainage, goaf drainage and surface borehole drainage.
Equipment includes 3 x Kempe K200 electro-hydraulic drill rigs, 1 x Diamec 251 electro-hydraulic drill rig, 1 x Ram Trak twin motor ProRam, 2 x twin motor ProRams and 1 x single motor ProRam. (The ProRam rigs are compressed air operated).
The surface plant consists of 4 x Nash Hytor CL3002 and 3 x Siemens 2BE1-405-1 water seal pumps with 800 l/sec and 1000 l/sec respectively.
A 610 mm pipe line extends from pit bottom, up the downcast shaft to the gas plant some 200m remote.
As a result of gas drainage the coal carries only around 0.5% moisture (inherent moisture 1.5% moisture) so a process of water infusion is undertaken using the redundant in-seam holes prior to mining operations.
Appin Colliery – Illawarra Coal
Began in 1960, working the Bulli seam at 500m depth. Classed as a gassy seam.
Current (2002) full-time work force is 240
2001 set annual production record of 3.25 million tonnes from single l/w face and 3 development panels.
Minex Awards 2002 Applicants’ booklet ; Phil Ostwald - Employee Services Manager
2009 – Snapshot; Bulli seam 2.9 – 3.2m, cover depth 550m; ROM 1,390,400 tonnes(2008)
Longwall commenced May 1969. Shearer: Joy 7LS DERDS M/g drum 2.1m T/g 2.1m, 1122kW. Face support: Joy 2-leg chock shields x 145. Face conveyor: Joy 800mm/48mm twin inboard. Development: 3 x Voest Alpine ABM20, 1 x Joy 12CM12 continuous miners. 3 x Waracars, 3 x Joy 15SC shuttle cars. (Coal Services Report 2009)
2015 – Appin Colliery follows South32 when that company is demerged from BHPBilliton in May 2015.