- Opened: 1910
- Location: Avondale, West Dapto
- Owner: George Brunero
- Closed 17/01/1983
1884 – A Mr Hardy (mining engineer and member of the North of England Mining and Mechanical Engineers, also a certified colliery manager), at the request of the Hon. J. B. Watt, Messrs. W. C. Watt and J. J. Weston of Sydney, was prospecting for coal in the Calderwood Mountain. He is reported to have found no less than 5 seams of first class coal ranging from 4ft to 17ft together with an oil shale seam and a 20ft seam of ironstone. (The Queenslander – Brisbane, 4th Oct. 1884)
Note; J. J. Weston is the legal manager of Broken Hill South Silver Mine (Barrier Miner, March 1889)
1884 – Six prospecting mines have been driven several yards into the mountain side testing the quality and thickness of coal. About 30 ft above these 6 seams is the well-known upper seam of the Illawarra. The prospectors have not yet discovered this seam. Meanwhile all prospecting operations are suspended. (DoMAR 1884)
1884 – 20th October, Mr W. J. Weston gives notice that prospecting for coal by means of adits has commenced on D. C. Watt’s MCP of 150 acres in the Parish of Calderwood. (DoMAR 1884)
1884 – A section, taken by John Mackenzie F. G. S., Government Examiner of Coal Fields, of the strata and coal seams opened out by Mr. Hardy, colliery viewer, on Messrs Watt and others 143 acs. mineral conditional purchase, near Dapto, Parish of Calderwood displayed on pp137, DoMAR 1884. However No. 1 seam had not been looked for at the time of inspection.
1885 – Prospecting operations still suspended. (DoMAR 1885)
1905 – P. Bryen, the mine manager of Avondale Colliery, on 26th January, notifies the DoM of his intention to prospect for coal. (DoMAR 1905)
1908 – 1st July, Mr. Patterson Bryon (sic) notifies DoM that he is starting to drive the tunnel at Avondale, in order to mine for coal. (DoMAR 1908)
1908 – 30th July, Mr. P. Bryen notifies DoM that he has suspended operations temporarily at the Avondale Colliery, Dapto (DoMAR 1908)
1908 – Avondale Colliery is reported as having “re-commenced”, been “discontinued” and “abandoned” during 1908 (DoMAR 1908)
1908 – A truck load of coal from Mr. Bryen’s mine at Avondale is sent to Mt Pleasant Coke Works for trial (SMH 28/09/1908)
1908 – A report that Wongawilli has been sold ……and negotiations are proceeding steadily for the disposal of Mr. P. Bryen’s mine at Avondale. Samples of coal are being tested for coking purposes. (SMH 12/10/1908)
1908 – Report of progress made by syndicate working Mr. P. Bryen’s property at Avondale. “One tunnel is in 4 chains (264 ft, 80.5m) into a seam with no bands. 12 tons of coal coked at Unanderra then sent to Broken Hill. Syndicate has 1280 acres with production anticipated February 1909”. (Shoalhaven News & South Coast District Advertiser, 19/12/1908 p4, ex Trove)
1909 – 13th Oct, Mr. C. E. Bird, Manager of the Avondale Coal Syndicate, notifies the DoM of his intention to drive two prospecting tunnels in connection with Avondale Colliery on Mr. P. Bryen’s farm. 18th Oct, Mr. Bird notified that the first of the two tunnels had been commenced and that operations in connection with the second one would be commenced at an early date (DoMAR 1909)
1909 – 25th Oct, Mr. C. E. Bird, Manager of the Avondale Coal Syndicate, notifies the DoM of the appointment of Mr. P. Bryen as manager of Avondale Colliery. (DoMAR 1909)
1909 – 3 persons employed u/g, 1 person at the surface. Avondale Colliery reported as being “re-commenced” during 1909 (DoMAR 1909)
1910 – “Two prospecting tunnels were made at Avondale Colliery”. (SMH 25/04/1910 p5, ex Trove)
1910 – “Coal is being hauled by dray from Avondale and Wongawilli mines to Dapto railway station. The greater part goes south”. (SMH 9/5/1910 p13, ex Trove)
1910 – 4 persons employed u/g, 4 persons at the surface. (DoMAR 1910)
Opened in 1911 by the Illawarra Steam and Coal Co. Ltd. Proposed to lay 4 ½ miles of rail line to the colliery. Wollongong Library
(no rail line was ever laid).
Mined the Tongarra and Wongawilli? seams.
1911 – “It has been decided by those syndicates interested to issue the prospectus of the Illawarra Steam and Coal Company Limited (sic). The company will shortly be on the market to operate the freehold and leasehold lands held by the vendors at Avondale, near Dapto. The active operations will take place about February 1. The opening up of the colliery will be pushed on with a view of delivering the coal in January 1912. The new mine is situated at Avondale, half a mile south of the Dapto railway station and from the colliery to the railway, four and a half miles of railway is to be put down. The area of the property is 1300 acres and there are six seams, three of which have been thoroughly prospected at various points. Five tunnels have been already driven in a distance ranging from 40 to 100 yards. The company also intends to manufacture coke extensively”. (SMH 16/01/1911 p11, ex Trove)
1911 – The prospectus of the “The Illawarra Steam Coal and Coke Co. Ltd”, being formed to acquire the coal properties of the Avondale Mining Syndicate, is advertised in the media. Capital to be raised £150,000 in £1 shares. 25,000 shares are to be issued to the Avondale Mining Syndicate as payment for assets. (Queanbeyan Age, 10/2/1911, ex Trove)
Sir James Graham, M. D.; Messrs. Henry Howell (Director and Sydney Manager of Howard Smith Co. Ltd.), Theo. J. Marks (Messrs. Robertson and Marks, architects, Sydney), A. W. Gilles (merchant, Challis House, Martin Place, Sydney) and Robert Chevin Ghest (shipbroker, Bridge Street, Sydney).
1911 – 2 persons employed u/g, 2 persons at the surface. (DoMAR 1911)
1911 – Approximately £4,000 has been spent on opening up the Avondale leaseholds with a company being in the course of formation. (SMH 10/7/1911).
1911 – Progress is being made in London with the formation of a company to work the Avondale leases, 1300 acres with 6 seams of which 3 have been prospected by 5 tunnels ranging from 40 to 100yds. (SMH 11/9/1911).
1912 – An application on behalf of the Avondale Coal-mining Syndicate for the suspension of labour conditions with the Avondale coal seam. Captain Bird? said that development work had been carried out and it was expected that a company would be floated at an early date. Suspension was granted for six months. (SMH 20/2/1912 p11, ex Trove)
1912 – Mr. P. Bryen’s permit (to act as manager) is renewed for 12 months from 30th Oct. (DoMAR 1912)
1913 – No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1913.
1914 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1914.
1915 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1915.
1916 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1916.
1920 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1920.
1920 – “Central Illawarra” coal mine opens (DoMAR 1920)
1921 – The Avondale property is rejected by the Sydney City Council when offered by the Avondale Mining Syndicate (along with 27 others) as a possible City Council Mine. (SMH 14/4/1921)
1921 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1921.
29/09/1922 – Plan showing part of the mining lease (Block 55, 48acres) held by the Avondale Mining Syndicate shows prospecting drives in the No.1 (135m), No. 3 (59m) and No. 5 (65m) seams. All adits located in Lot 31. (Note; face measurements scaled from plan)
Reopened 1932 as a privately owned mine
1932 – “Wanted, 4 bushmen to cut mining timber. Apply J. Clarke, Dapto, ph. 30” (SCT 24/06/32 p11)
1932 – “Tenders for carting 5000 mine props/week. Apply J. Clarke, Dapto, ph. 30” (SCT 02/09/32 p9)
1932 – “Wanted, 10 miners for Avondale Colliery. Apply J. Clarke, Dapto, ph. 30” (SCT 14/08/32 p9)
1932 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1932.
1933 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1933.
1934 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1934.
1935 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1935.
1936 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1936.
1937 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1937.
1938 – A notice under Section 37 was received by the DoM that Avondale Colliery was being opened up. Avondale Colliery placed on the list of collieries in the district. (DoMAR 1938)
1938 – Advert; “COAL; COAL; COAL. Get your supplies from The Avondale Colliery – Delivered 22/6 per ton, 12/6 half ton, or on rail 18/- per ton – J. Clarke Dapto 69” (Ill Merc. 9/12/1938 p14, ex Trove)
1939 – Avondale Colliery is on the district list and using oil flame safety lamps. (DoMAR 1939)
1946 – 10th Apr. - Fire u/g due to fan and furnace being used simultaneously. Mine manager – J. Armstrong (DoMAR 1946)
1946 – Manager, John Armstrong, prosecuted by DoM for the improper transportation of explosives underground. (DoMAR 1946). Fined £11/4/0 on 4 charges of using non-approved containers. (SCT 01/02/1946 p7)
1946 – Dept. of Mines grants a mining lease to G. Brunero with respect to the railway crossing of Marshall St. Dapto. (Ill Merc 26/07/1946 p4)
1946 – Listed as working 221 days during the year (near maximum) (DoMAR 1946)
1947 – G. A. Brunero obtains Deputy’s Certificate at Ultimo Tech. (SCT 11/07/1947 p13)
1947 – Advertisement for “Colliery Manager, Avondale Colliery, South Coast. Residence free”. (SMH 27/9/1947 and 18/10/1947)
1947 - No reference to Avondale Colliery noted within DoMAR 1947.
1948 – Avondale Colliery is selling coal to White Bay Power Station (Sydney) working 5’-8” of a 7’-6” seam with a ROM ash of 17 – 24%. (DoM records)
1948 - Listed as working 211 days during the year (DoMAR 1948)
1949 – Building Approval to G. Brunero for new stables at Avondale. (Ill Merc 20/01/1949 p3)
1949 – Advertisement for “Colliery Manager, Avondale Colliery, South Coast. Residence free. Full particulars; J. Clarke, Dapto Ph. Dapto 69”. (SMH 11/5/1949)
1949 – G. Brunero fined £2 plus 10/- costs for permitting a shot to be fired without proper precautions. (SCT 02/06/1949 p3) Manager, George Dewar brought the charges. (Ill Merc 2/6/1946)
1949 – Avondale Colliery is on the district list for inspection. (DoMAR 1949)
1950 – Advertisement for “Colliery Manager, Avondale Colliery, South Coast. Residence free. Full particulars; J. Clarke, Dapto Ph. Dapto 69”. (SMH 22/7/1950)
1950 – Listed as having 25 electric Safety Lamps in use. (DoMAR 1950)
1951 – Listed as having 24 electric Safety Lamps in use. (DoMAR 1951)
1952 – Listed as having 24 electric Safety Lamps in use. (DoMAR 1952)
1953 – Not listed or included in the index. (DoMAR 1953)
1954 – “For Sale, Cedar logs ~15,000 super feet. J. Clarke ph. Dapto 69” (SMH 4/10/54 p12)
18/07/1956 – “Production 80 tons/day by hand mining of Tongarra Seam Coal sent to Tallawarra PS.
Negotiation by Fox to purchase mine
Owner requires ₤63,000
JCB valuation ₤30,000
Work currently interrupted due to cinder in faces.”
AIS records – no author or address.
1959 – [Executors of G. Brunero] “Working the Tongarra seam by hand mining. By end of year, 2 x development headings in outcrop of #3 seam by mechanical means.” (DoMAR 1959)
Commenced work in the Wongawilli Seam in 1961
AIS Report 1961 Gadsden
18/03/1976 - Letter; To Manager Coke & Sinter. Attn. Mr. N. Thompson from R. G. Wilson District Geologist 18th March 1976
Coal Investigation – Wongawilli seam.
Answering a verbal request re coal quality in Huntley, Avondale & Avon Collieries.
- Huntley; (Ww) Generally poor ROM ash 37%; 1.40 sg 27% @ 13.5% ash BSI 8 Vitrinite >80%
- Huntley; (Tong) 1.40 sg 30% @ 10.5% ash BSI 7 Vitrinite ~ 60%
Contract Specs 6000t/week @ 13.8% ash.
- Avondale; (Ww) Shot firing, cutting & loading. An old CM is currently being reconditioned.
Belt capacity of < 700t/day limiting factor
Coal quality should remain 24-28% ash.
- Avon; (Ww) Western area contains reserves to supply 450,000t/yr for 5 years but clean coal > 13.5% ash unless yield is reduced.
- Avon; (Ww) Northern area intruded and cindered, unpredictable.
Conclusion quality possible but probably at 14.5% ash.
AIS Geo records
Closed in 1982 due to the loss of a contract to supply coal to the Port Kembla Steelworks.
1983 – 17th Jan, Avondale Colliery closed and was purchased by Huntley Colliery, incorporating it into their leasehold. (Huntley Records)
Ceased Production 17/01/1983
Joint Coal Board Report 1983
Although immediately adjacent to Huntley colliery the mine is never reopened or utilised by Huntley, the leases being relinquished when Huntley closed in 1989.
29/01/1993 – Two fly-ash seals (6m long) placed just inbye the Ww portals. Two more installed within an encroachment into the outcrop barrier (1 x 8m; 1 x 23m).
25/05/2006 – Representatives from Gujarat NRE explore the mine workings after nearly a month of reopening the seals.