Opened: October 1909 (Col. Owen)
Location: Midway between Mt Keira and Brokers Nose
Taken over: 01/04/1910 by a newly formed company, Balgownie Coal Co.
Owner: Balgownie Coal Co.
Connected to Govt. railway siding at Towradgi in 1913
Taken over by: E. W. Owen (1921)
Reopened: 1922 as Mt Kembla Extended
*1835 – John Buckland is awarded the original grant of 1920 acres and names it “Balgownie”.
This area is also referred to as Cramville, Ousley-vale and Ryanvale at various times.
*Ryan, Frank “My Balgownie” personal memories.
1909 - Colonel Robert Owen MLC instigates the driving of an adit into the 4’ seam (Balgownie seam) primarily to supply the local market by recovering pillars in Portions 47, 48, 49, 50 & 62 via
Portion 49. (Owen’s Mine) (J L N Southern)
A coal mine known as Owen’s Mine was opened up in the 4’ seam with a tunnel driven in a NW direction, quickly encountering good coal. Coal was delivered by flying fox on a wire rope just inside the northern boundary line of Looney’s to a storage bin on Brokers Road. (Ryan, F. “My Balgownie” p42/43)
1909 - The Owen Balgownie mine has operated only a few days but is working smoothly. The full skip coming out of the pit on a set of ordinary truck wheels but as it passes under the cable an uplifted arm comes in comes in contact with it and the skip is lifted from its wheels and swings in the air ready for its descent. There is an empty skip waiting at the lower end to be drawn up by the descending skip. Currently only carrying about 700 lbs of coal each trip the cable is capable of about one ton. (Ill Mer. 15/10/1909 p4)
1909 – 16th Jun, R.H. Owen reported the opening out of a coal outcrop on the estate of Hon. R. Owen
as “Owen’s Balgownie Colliery”, Mt Pleasant. The drive is situated 200 yds. south of Mt Pleasant Company’s tunnel mouth. (DoMAR 1909)
Initially the colliery is manned by 2 men underground and 2 on the surface (a man & wife team of Mr. & Mrs. David Emery).
1909 – 28th Jun, R. H. Owen notifies of the appointment of Mr D. Emery as the manager of Owen’s Colliery. (DoMAR 1909)
A self-acting aerial ropeway carries coal from the mine to a depot lower down the mountain (approximately opposite the current Balgownie Public School). Horse drawn vehicles continued the journey to local consumers.
1909 – Dec – “Col. Owens small mine at Balgownie is working, sending one truck load to Sydney daily”. (SMH 8/12/1909 p9)
1910 – 25th Mar, - Media report that the newly formed Balgownie Coal Co. is to take over the assets and leaseholds of Owen’s Mine on 01/04/1910.
1910 – 1st Apr, - Balgownie Coal Co takes over Owen’s Mine. Output increases.
1910 – Contract for the sinking of a 60’ vent shaft is let. (SCT 15/04/1910 p8)
1910 – Nth. Illawarra Council agrees with the conditional granting of a part of Balgownie Colliery Ltd application to lease land for a tramway from colliery to main railway line. (Ill Merc. 19/08/1910, p4)
1910 – Work commences on the making of a siding near Corrimal for the new tramline from Balgownie Colliery. Ingersoll “puncher” is delivered to the mine, currently not working. (Ill Merc. 201/12/1910, p2).
1911 – 20th May, - A new standard gauge siding (called Orielton Siding) opens on the western side of the main line immediately south of Towradgi Stn, intended for use with a tramway proposed from the mine adit.
1911 – Balgownie Colliery Ltd applies to the warden’s court for the right to construct a tramway. (Ill Merc. 21/11/1911 p2).
1911 – Listed as Owen’s Balgownie Colliery, Balgownie. Owner: Balgownie Colliery Ltd. Manager: D. Emery. Reported as having no employees. (DoMAR 1911)
1912 – Not reported in DoMAR except for D. Emery is listed as Mine Manager. (DoMAR 1912)
1913 – 7th Jan, - the Balgownie Coal Company closes.
1913 - November - the mine is floated without any takers.
1913 – Owen’s Balgownie listed as being owned by Balgownie Colliery Ltd, manager D. Emery. (DoMAR 1913)
1914 - September, - there is an offer to purchase however this is withdrawn due to the outbreak of hostilities.
1914 – Owen’s Balgownie listed as being owned by Balgownie Colliery Ltd, manager D. Emery. (DoMAR 1914)
1915 – Owen’s Balgownie listed as being owned by Balgownie Colliery Ltd, manager D. Emery. (DoMAR 1915)
MOUNT KEMBLA EXTENDED:
1917 – Mt Kembla (Extended) is listed in Inspector Hindmarsh’s annual report as having 2 men employed underground. Safety lamps are not in use. Also listed as “recommencement”. Mr. W. Wiley is listed as owner with M. Haywood as Manager, appointed (notified) 12th November 1917 his permit issued 17th Nov 1917. (DoMAR 1917)
1918 – Mr Wylie represents the Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal and Coke Company in Wardens Court. (Ill. Merc. 26/04/1918 p4 ex Trove)
1920 – Mount Kembla (Extended) Ltd is registered as a new company having some 10,000 in capital, to acquire from Mr William Wiley, certain lands to carry on coal mining. Directors will be Arthur Rickard and John Yelverton Mills. (SMH 28/01/1920 p13 ex Trove)
1921 – E. W. Owens takes over the leasehold of Balgownie Colliery.
1922 – 9th June, - a company is formed called Mount Kembla Extended and registered to work Owen’s Balgownie mine. Capital raised was 35,000 pounds with Adam Frost (interests in Mt. Kembla Mine) as principle shareholder. The mine is called Mount Kembla (Extended) Colliery and K.E. Orielton siding becomes known as Frosts siding.
1922 – “The coal property at Balgownie known as Owen’s Balgownie Colliery which some six years ago was taken over by the Balgownie Colliery Ltd has been acquired by a company registered as Mount Kembla (Extended) Coal Company. The Balgownie Colliery Ltd failed to make good its assets, i.e. 15 acres of land at the junction of the tramway and the Government railway and were acquired by Mr E. W. Owen. The main intention is to work the 4 foot seam in conjunction with pillars left behind in the top seam of the property worked some thirty years ago by the Mt Pleasant Coal Co.” (South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus 9/06/1922 p14 ex Trove)
1922 – December - a new self-acting incline has been installed from adit to foot of hill. A steam operated winch is installed to draw the skips out of the mine. A tramway from the foot of the hill to the loading staithes at the siding is installed.
1922 - Owen’s Balgownie mine reopens under the name of Mount Kembla (Extended) (DoMAR 1922)
1922 – Advertisement: - Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal Co Ltd invites tenders for; 8000 ordinary sleepers and 500 round backed sleepers plus excavation at the tunnel mouth. (South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus 16/06/1922 p11 ex Trove)
1922 – The siding to connect Mt Kembla (Extended) coal mine with the main line has been put in with expectations to call tenders shortly for the tramway. (Ill. Merc. 4/08/1922 p2 ex Trove)
1922 – Advertisement: - Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal Co Ltd invites tenders for; Tommydods, rollers and sheave wheels. (South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus 20/10/1922 p12 ex Trove)
1922 – Advertisement: - Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal Co Ltd invites tenders for the laying of about half a mile of Railway Siding, rails 60 and 70lb – Labour only. (South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus 27/10/1922 p11 ex Trove)
1922 – The Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal Co is laying double track to the foot of the incline. The tunnel mouth has been repaired with substantial timbers with the commitment to lay rails down the incline. It is intended to run the coal in skips down to screens erected near the Main South Coast Road at Fern Hill where an engine house has already been built in which an engine will be placed to haul coal from the foot of the incline by endless rope. (Ill. Merc. 8/12/1922 p2 ex Trove)
1923 – The first consignment of coal from the Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery was despatched on Monday, 7th May. The colliery’s first injury was suffered by John Cook, 55, when a cable slipped when being replaced on a Tommydod. (Ill. Merc. 11/05/1923 p1 ex Trove)
1923 – 13th Aug, work commenced in earnest with Mr Dick Yates appointed Mine Manager and Mr Fred Yates, as U/m. 8 miners are on coal at some 60 t/day. (Ill Merc. 17/8/1923, p4 ex Trove)
1923 – There are 11 miners now employed at the Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery. Portion of the coal goes to Sydney, the remainder to Port Kembla. The mine was idle on Monday 10th due to surface water disposal problems, on Tuesday 11th, in sympathy for the funeral of their late undermanager, Mr. Yates. (South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus 14/09/1923 p10 ex Trove)
1923 - The Mt Kembla (Extended) mine has been idle since Monday 22nd October with several grievances alleged to exist. (Ill. Merc. 26/10/1923 p9 ex Trove)
1923 - The Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery will suspend operations at the mine for the purpose of installing additional machinery. It is expected to be New Year before operations resume. (Ill. Merc. 16/11/1923 p2 ex Trove)
1923 – 37 men u/g and 21 men employed on the surface. Natural ventilation in use at the colliery. (DoMAR 1923)
1923 - Advertisement: - Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal Co Ltd invites tenders for the installation of an incline bridge at the colliery. (South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus 16/11/1923 ex Trove)
1924 – Applications are called for the position of Colliery Manager at the Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery. (Ill. Merc. 15/02/1924 ex Trove)
1924 – Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery, after closing down earlier this year, is to resume operation. (Newcastle Morning Herald & Miner’s Advocate 20/03/1924 ex Trove)
1924 - Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery, after being idle for several weeks is to resume operations on Thursday 31st July. (Cessnock Eagle & South Maitland Recorder 29/07/1924 ex Trove)
1924 – August, a contract for boiler coal is formed with Sydney City Council, allowing 60 men to be employed, producing 1400 tons/week.
1924 – A fan is installed. Commenced working with 20 days in April through to December. 63 men employed underground and 23 on the surface. (DoMAR 1924)
1924 – 65 hands are now employed at the Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery (Ill Merc. 12/09/1924 ex Trove)
1924 - Applications are called for the position of Electrical Motor Driver at the Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery. (Ill. Merc. 28/11/1924 p9 ex Trove)
1924 - Applications are called for Thick Set ponies not exceeding 11.2 hands and 4 to 5 years of age at the Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery. (Sth Coast Times & Wollongong Argus, 05/12/1924 p16 ex Trove)
1924 – Fan installed replacing natural ventilation for the colliery. Reported as employing 63 u/g and 23 at the surface. (DoMAR 1924)
1925 – The application of Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery for ML 15 parish Woonona of 35 acres is approved. (Sth Coast Times & Wollongong Argus, 29/05/1925 p12 ex Trove)
1925 – Mr J. Fletcher who was manager at South Kembla and now in charge at Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery is introducing the longwall system of working. (Sth Coast Times & Wollongong Argus, 19/06/1925 p17 ex Trove)
1925 – Applications are called for the position of Deputy having Longwall experience at the Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery. (Ill. Merc. 03/07/1925 p11 ex Trove)
1925 – A report regarding the working of the longwall will be investigated today. (Ill Merc. 20/11/1925 p2 ex Trove)
1925 – Mr. Morgan Evans, late of Wongawilli, replaces Mr. Fletcher in management. (Sth Coast Times & Wollongong Argus 18/12/1925 p18 ex Trove)
1925 – 58 men employed u/g and 22 on the surface. Naked lights still in use. (DoMAR 1925)
1926 – February - Industrial problems lead to the mine being closed February to May. 60 men generally employed u/g and 27 on the surface. (DoMAR 1926)
1926 – “Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery is to resume work on 12/04/1926 but only a few hands will be employed at first”. (Sth Coast Times & Wollongong Argus 07/04/1926 p12 ex Trove)
1926 – Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery worked only 23 days in 1926 then ceased operations. (Ill Merc. 04/06/1926 p7 ex Trove)
1926 – Advertisement; Mount Kembla (Extended) Coal Coy. Ltd: “The employees of the abovementioned Company are hereby notified that the colliery will commence operations forthwith. Any employee not presenting within fourteen days will be replaced”. (Ill Merc. 04/06/1926 p11 ex Trove)
1926 – Wanted: - Colliery Blacksmith, able to shoe, also an Engine Driver for Mt. Kembla (Extended) Colliery. (Sth Coast Times & Wollongong Argus. 11/06/1926 p13 ex Trove)
1926 – Mt Kembla (Extended) reported as employing 60 u/g and 27 at the surface. (DoMAR 1926)
1927 – Mount Kembla (Extended) Coal Company Limited: Tenders will be received until 12 noon 19th February 1927, for the purchase of the above company’s coal mine and property together with all machinery, moveable plant etc., situated at Balgownie. H. J. Lambeth, Secretary. (SMH 03/02/1927 p16 ex Trove)
1927 – “The Mount Kembla (Extended) Colliery will be working tomorrow, Saturday 30th April 1927. J. E. Armstrong, Manager”. (Ill Merc. 29/04/1927 p13 ex Trove)
1927 – “Wanted:- 2 miles of 2nd hand haulage wire rope, 2 ¾ “ circum. 6 strand, 7 wires each.” (SMH 24/09/1927 p20 ex Trove)
1927 – 65 men u/g, 19 at the surface. (DoMAR 1927)
1928 – Miners at the Mt Kembla (Extended) mine removed their tools from the mine this week. (Sth Coast Times & Wollongong Argus 03/02/1928 p21 ex Trove)
1928 – Mt Kembla (Extended) is closed for 7 months of the year due to the depressed state of the coal industry. (DoMAR 1928)
1928 – Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery, closed for nearly 12 months, resumed operations this week. (Sunday Times 21/10/1928 p4 ex Trove)
1928 – Only 49 days total worked infrequently during year. 14 men u/g and 16 at the surface. (DoMAR 1928)
1929 – Ventilation reported as unsatisfactory by the Inspector. The mine worked all year with 17 men u/g and 20 at the surface. (DoMAR 1929)
1930 – Worked all year at a reduced rate. (DoMAR 1930)
1931 – 1933 No data from DoMAR
1934 – An extraordinary meeting on 29/06/1934 of the Mount Kembla (Extended) Coal Company Ltd passed a resolution that the company be voluntarily wound up. Harry James Lambeth is appointed liquidator. (SMH 03/07/1934 p1 ex Trove)
1934 - Advertisement: - Auction Sale of Mount Kembla (Extended) Colliery next Sat. 22/09/1934.
The complete plant plus 13 acres of land, includes:-
Colonial Type Boiler 11ft x 3ft 10in w/- 48 31in Tubes, complete w/- mountings and 30 ft of new stack 100lb w.p., recently purchased, not yet installed; Colonial Type Boiler 60lb ticket; Horizontal Steam Engine 16 in x 8in; 5ft diam. “C” Wheel; Worthington Boiler Feed Pump 5 1/4 x 4 ¾ x 5; Sturtevant Blower 34in with eight 12in fans; Massey Harris 6HP Oil Engine 550 revolutions, partly complete; 100 tons rails, 12, 16 and 20lb; 15 tons 60lb rails; 180 wooden coal skips, 1ft 10in gge; Wheels, Points, Crossings, Turntables, Skip Tippler w/- foot brake attachment, bottom rails 4ft 6in frame 4ft 4in Mounted on 91in horseshoe base.
“Link Belt Co” Conveyor and Screening Unit: - Conveyor 45ft centres w/- 90 15 x 41/2 steel scrapers. 10 x 16in steel frame chute and screen 20ft long x 20in 9in sides. (This unit has never been used). Coal Loading and Screening Gantry. Steel screen 12ft x 5ft 6in. Coal Crusher w/- 44in x 6in spur wheel and 48in x 10 1/2in belt drive; Endless Rope Electric Haulage, belt or direct driven. Driving wheel 5ft 5in x 6 1/2 x 5in shaft. C. I. Flywheel 7ft x 12in face. Single Rope Wheel 5ft 8in w/- double driving gear fitted with Jamb brake; 40 h.p. “Westinghouse” A.C. Slip Ring Motor, 415V 940 Revs, starter, Tramway type control, meters etc.; 15 h.p. “Parkinson” Motor AC 415V 715 revs. Triple pole magnet starter, switch etc; 1 Ton Water balance skip weighbridge, wrought and cast iron tension trolleys and wheels. Greaser wheels etc; Steam and water cocks and fittings, assorted pulleys, fly wheels, leading on wheels. Blacksmith’s anvils, bellows and sundry tools. Rescue Kits. Small quantity of 1in 2in and 3in piping. Large quantity of good wire hauling rope. “Short & Mason” zero setting velocity meter with 5 dials, aneroid barometer, underground miner’s dial by “Davis” London, “Nobels” shot firers; Winding Engine Building, 31ft long 14ft wide w/- 16ft high gable roof. Iron throughout, practically new with 1000 gallon round tank; Large quantity of galvanised iron and timber from dismantled stables, magazine, ambulance, blacksmith’s shop, weighbridge and storeroom buildings. Draught horse and sundry harness, 7 Pit ponies, aged but sound. (SMH 19/09/1934 p3 ex Trove)
1934 – Notice of Abandonment received by DoM towards end of year. (DoMAR 1934)
1934 – Electricity discontinued to Mt Kembla Extended and Mt Pleasant
1935 – Mt Pleasant Colliery changes name to Keira-Pleasant Tunnels (DoMAR 1935)
1936 – The Government Gazette notifies of cancellation of 6 leases held by Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery for non-payment of rents. (Ill Merc 27/03/1936 p9 ex Trove)
1936 – 26th October - the Mt Kembla Extended mine closes permanently. The siding and tramways are dismantled and removed.
Eardley, 1968, “Transporting the Black Diamond”
Murray, Arthur, 2001, “True North”
1936 – The Government Gazette notifies of cancellation of Por ML 15 County Camden, Par Woonona 3a 1r 15p held by Mt Kembla (Extended) Colliery. (Ill Merc 24/12/1936 ex Trove)
1942 – A proposal by Illawarra Coke Co. Ltd to purchase the Port Kembla Coal Co. and the Mount Kembla (Extended) Ltd has been recommended to shareholders. (SMH 03/04/1942 p2 ex Trove)
1951 – Advertisement – Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal Mine is offered for sale or lease. (SMH 07/04/1951 p15 ex Trove)
1952 – Advertisement – Mt Kembla (Extended) Coal Mine is offered for sale or lease. Ashton Marshall, Box 97, Wollongong. (SMH 15/11/1952 p16 ex Trove)
Mt Kembla (Extended) plus Corrimal Collieries