1971 - Avon Colliery commenced work on their first portal in the outcrop of the Wongawilli seam on Wednesday, 26th May, 1971, under Mine Manager, Roger Bancroft (currently [December 2000] Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines [Technical] in Queensland).
1971 – Receipt of Notice of Commencement, 5th July 1971 (DoMAR 1972)
1971 - Taking delivery of their first continuous miner (1000 Volt Lee Norse 60H) on June 30th, 1971, the first saleable coal was delivered to the A.I & S on Tuesday, 24th August, 1971, by Heggies Transport.
Avon Colliery was the first mine to fully utilise 1000volts for all its face equipment.
A key feature of this mine was its high employee productivity and good industrial relations.
1973 - For most of the period between 1973 and 1987 the mine had three continuous miner units with around 150 employees.
1973 – United Developments builds a 200t/hr dense media washery at Avon Colliery. (Mine & Quarry Mechanisation, 1973)
1976 - The mine produced over 980,000 tonnes ROM in 1976 with a total of 130 employees.
1986 – Avon Colliery produces 900,000 tonnes ROM (530,000 tonnes saleable) with 164 employees.
Utilising the bord and pillar method with 3 x Joy 12CM 11 Continuous miners; 4 x Noyes 15/60 Hydrocar Shuttle cars and 2 x Joy 15 S/C Shuttle cars. (NSW Coal Industry Profile 1986, Dept. of Mineral Resources)
1987 - The mine closed in June 1987 by Austen & Butta and sold to South Coast Equipment Pty Ltd (through Avon Properties Pty Ltd). Reopened by Avon Colliery Pty Ltd, taking over control and operation of the Avon Colliery from Austen & Butta Ltd on 9th September 1988, selling its washed coal to Austen & Butta for export.
1988-89 – Avon Colliery produces 209,300 tonnes ROM (186,300 tonnes saleable) and as at June 1989 employed 38 workers.
1989-90 - Avon Colliery produces 270,000 tonnes ROM (240,000 tonnes saleable) and as at June 1990 employed 36 workers. Utilising the bord and pillar method with 1 x Joy 12CM 11 Continuous miner and 2 x Noyes 15/60 Hydrocar Shuttle cars. (NSW Coal Industry Profile 1991, Dept. of Mineral Resources)
1991-92 - Avon Colliery produces 280,000 tonnes ROM (240,000 tonnes saleable) and as at June 1992 employed 41 workers. Utilising the bord and pillar method with 1 x Joy 12CM 11 Continuous miner and 2 x Noyes 15/60 Hydrocar Shuttle cars. (NSW Coal Industry Profile 1993, Dept. of Mineral Resources)
1993-94 - Avon Colliery produces 340,000 tonnes ROM (300,000 tonnes saleable) and as at June 1994 employed 55 workers. Utilising the bord and pillar method with adit access. (NSW Coal Industry Profile 1995, Dept. of Mineral Resources)
1996-97 - Avon Colliery produces 400,000 tonnes ROM (320,000 tonnes saleable) and as at June 1997 employed 54 workers (incl. 7 at the CPP). Utilising the bord and pillar method with adit access. (NSW Coal Industry Profile 1998, Dept. of Mineral Resources)
1998-99 - Avon Colliery produces 330,000 tonnes ROM (250,000 tonnes saleable) and as at June 1999 employed 55 workers (incl. 4 at the CPP). Utilising the bord and pillar method with adit access. (NSW Coal Industry Profile 2000, Dept. of Mineral Resources)
2000 - Closure in April, 2000, due to the loss of markets, was rapid, portals sealed within days and the equipment being auctioned off on 25th May, 2000.
Avon Colliery – (Illawarra Mercury 5th Apr 2000)
2004 – CCL765 Parish of Kembla, County of Camden, 43.04 ha. Ceased to have effect 7th July 2004
2004 – CCL603 Parish of Kembla, County of Camden, 5.66 ha. Ceased to have effect 7th July 2004 (NSW Government Gazette No 120)
Avon Colliery – 2004 (B.S.) - View in HD
Avon’s manager for the last 10 years or so was Rod Burston, having moved across from Huntley Colliery following its closure in 1989.
Avon was the third in a series of Austen & Butta mines established in the Illawarra in the 1960s & 70s, viz. Dombarton, Yellow Rock & Avon with proposals for additional mines west of the escarpment prior to the downturn of the coking coal trade.
Located approximately 6 km west of Dapto on the Illawarra escarpment at the Wongawilli seam outcrop between Huntley colliery to the south and Wongawilli Colliery to the north, Avon exported the majority of its coal as either coking or thermal coal after passing through its coal preparation plant located on site.
Coal production was by bord and pillar, in the latter years breaker line supports being utilised during pillar extraction.
The Wongawilli seam had a working thickness of 3.1 m and produced some 0.33 Mt of raw coal per annum (0.25 Mt saleable)
Transport was some 22 km by road to Port Kembla Coal Loader.
The 220 t/hr Coal Preparation Plant consisting of a Bradford Breaker, HM Cyclones with Spirals and Froth Flotation commenced operations in August 1972 (requiring till December of that year to fine tune) with a clean coal stockpile capacity of 300,000 tonnes.
Just prior to closure the mine was operated by Avon Colliery Pty Ltd. owned by Avon Properties Pty Ltd. 100%, itself owned by South Coast Equipment Pty Ltd, having a workforce of some 55 employees.
(The majority of this information was sourced direct from Mr. Roger Bancroft and the Dept. of Mineral Resources publication “Coal Industry Profile” and “Minfo” No 23 1988)