Nth. Bulli Colliery
Nth. Bulli No 2 Colliery
aka Coledale Colliery
1878 – 1973
Closed: 1972 (Clutha)
Re-opens: 1973 (purchased by North Bulli Collieries Pty Ltd)
*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. (Barnes, History of Coledale)
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.
1876 – 28th Oct. - Mr. T. W. Garlick, deposits a notice proclaiming the opening of a seam of coal near Bulli by the North Bulli Coal & Iron Company (Limited) with DoM. (DoMAR 1876).
1878 - The Bulli seam (4’ thick) is opened and proposals to construct a jetty on Long Nose Point made. The jetty was never built and the mine lagged.
1884 – A project to acquire mining lands was undertaken and eventually some 5210 acs, freehold and leasehold were obtained including; the Stanwell Park Estate, 840acs freehold, 200 acs leasehold, and Dwyer’s 120 acs freehold, The Illawarra Land & Coal Mining company’s 490 acs freehold, Barton’s grants of 160 acs freehold Mining leases and rights of 3,400 acs held for 25 years on a royalty of less than 1s per ton with renewal rights at 3d per ton additional. A company named North Illawarra Coal Mining Company (Limited) was then formed. (North Australian – Darwin NT. 19/09/1884)
1884 – The North Illawarra Coal Mining Company, Ltd invites tenders for the erection of a jetty at Hick’s Bay, Long Point, Nth. Bulli. (SMH 07/04/1884)
1884 – The North Illawarra Coal Mining Company, Ltd advertises the “Form of Application for Shares” with a deposit of 2s/ share required. William Wiley Esq. is the Managing Director at Pitt St. Sydney. (SMH 28/07/1884)
1884 – Mr. Garlick, on behalf of North Illawarra Coal-mining Co. Ltd., notifies the DoM re the commencement of operations on 6th Nov. 1884 (DoMAR 1884)
*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. (Barnes, History of Coledale)
1885 – Mr. Garlick, on behalf of North Illawarra Coal-mining Co. Ltd., notifies the DoM re the opening out of No. 2 Mine on the late Sir W. Allen’s freehold, formerly owned by James Hicks, Sept. 2nd 1885 (DoMAR 1885)
1885 – North Bulli Colliery – Mine Manager; Thomas Cater. Mine U/manager; Frank Cater. (DoMAR 1885)
*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. (Barnes, History of Coledale)
This mine was worked out and closed in 1895.
1896 – Advert – North Bulli Colliery – “Sale of 14 horses and ponies on account of suspension of operations.” (Ill Mer. 31/04/1896, p3)
*Another mine was opened one mile north of the jetty at Coledale in 1889 and was also linked by rail. The North Bulli mine closed in 1898 and the jetty abandoned, later collapsing and eventually burning in 1915. (Barnes, History of Coledale)(Bayley, 1961, “Black Diamonds”).
1902 – 2nd Jan, Mr. G. O. Hyde gives notice that North Bulli No.1 Tunnel is about to be re-opened by the proprietors, Messrs. John William Cliff, Thomas Cater and himself. Mr Thomas Cater is the mine manager. (DoMAR 1902)
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.
1903 – Coledale Colliery is being opened up some 2 miles south of Sth Clifton Colliery. (Sth Coast Times & W’Gong Argus, 18/10/1903 p8)
1903 – This mine, having been closed for ~10 years, is now being re-opened. There are two tunnels driven in a considerable distance and the water is being taken out. (DoMAR 1903)
1903 – Official starting of a 50HP engine driving an 80,000 cfm fan. Mr Cater (one of the owners remarked that only 1 year and 10 months had passed since opening the mine with output at some 200 t/day hopefully increasing to 800 t/day in 12 months. (SMH 13/11/1903)
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.
1904 – The total workforce of Coledale Colliery is given notice that after 10/12/1904 miners will not be employed as coal getters but that all coal will be got by coalcutters. (Aust. Town & Country Journal, 7/12/1904, p36)
Owing to the thin seam Longwall was resorted to and Sullivan coalcutters were installed.
The South Coast Times, 19th November, 1904, reported that Coledale Colliery (formerly North Bulli No. 2) had installed a longwall cutting machine.
1905 – Fatality, 24th Mar, - Leonard Vincent, filler, due to “fall of stone”. (DoMAR 1905)
*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. (Barnes, History of Coledale)
1908 – Fatality, 14th Jul, - Wm. R. F. Johnstone, 17, miner, fall of stone (DoMAR 1908)
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.
1910 – Concrete foundations are being laid for a new Sirocco Fan (SMH 9/5/1910)
1910 - The company report for the last 12 months ending 30 Sept 1910 shows a net profit of £12,050, with paid up capital of 200,000 pounds. (SMH 29/10/1910)
1912 – North Bulli or Coledale colliery …..North Bulli Colliery leases the Southern Coal Company’s Jetty at Port Kembla which has 35 ft. of water during low tide at its outer end. (Danvers Power, Coalfields and Collieries of Australia, 1912)
1912 – An abbreviated description of North Bulli Colliery as per F. Danvers Power – “Under supervision of Mr T. Cater, also a large shareholder. Coal seam varies from 2’11” to >4’6” at which point the mining method changes from longwall to bord and pillar. Four electrically driven “Sullivan” longwall machines are in use undercutting the faces. Approximately 15 bhp, each machine is capable of cutting 120yds long, 5” high and 1.5yards deep in a 8 hr. shift. Endless rope haulage is used u/g with horses 11 to 14 hands high pulling the skips from the working faces. A self-acting incline operates from the mine to the railway level. Ventilation is by a 10’ “Walker” fan, operating at 150 rpm and 1.3 in. w.g. Additional coke ovens are currently under construction and will bring the total to 107 with a capacity of 1200 tons per week.” (Danvers Power, Coalfields and Collieries of Australia, 1912)
1913 – The company report for the last 12 months ending 30 Sept 1913 shows a net profit of >£6,000. Retiring director, G. O. Hyde was re-elected. (SMH 22/11/1913)
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).
North Bulli Colliery c.1915 (Harper)
c.1915 – Nth Bulli has 4 coke ovens in operation. (Harper, 1915)
1916 – Fatality – 25th August, Hugh Spiers, miner, suffered heart failure on way to work. (DoMAR 1916)
1918 – The workforce is on strike over minimum pay rates. (The Merc. Hobart 23/10/1918 p4)
1918 - The Annual Report ending September1918 indicates a profit of £5235.00 (SMH 21/11/1919)
1919 – Fatality – 15th July, Jas. J. H. Hanslow, 40 yrs. miner, fall of roof stone. It is reported as having 342 men u/g and 118 men at the surface. (DoMAR 1919)
1919 – The Annual Report ending September1919 indicates a profit of £851.00 (SMH 21/11/1919)
Advert in “Australian Coal, Shipping, Steel & The Harbour” – 01-01-1921
1921 – Fatality – Joseph Annesley, miner, leg severed by return wheel. (DoMAR 1921)
North Bulli Colliery 1921
1922 – The media reports that North Bulli Colliery is to close down on Friday, 18/08/1922 due to lack of orders. 300 men are given notice. (SMH 07/08/1922)
1922 – The notices are withdrawn for 7 days possibly averting the mine closure (Barrier Miner 12/08/1922)
1922 – JCB and DoM drills North Bulli Colliery DDH between 24/7/22 & 12/12/22 to 1070’2”, penetrating the Bulli seam 1063’6” – 1069’6”. (DoM Report 1922)
1924 - The Annual Report ending September1924 indicates a loss of £5233.00 (SMH 13/11/1925)
1925 - The Annual Report ending September1925 indicates a profit of £1369.00 (SMH 13/11/1925)
1926- Extraordinary meeting of shareholders of North Bulli Colliery Ltd. with the chairman, Mr G.A Parkes presiding, passed a resolution that the company would be wound-up voluntarily and that Mr. A. R. Harwood be appointed liquidator. (SMH 11/06/1926)
1926 – Nth Bulli reports as having no employees (DoMAR 1926)
1926 – A meeting of the Sth Coast Delegate Board discusses the abandonment of the Coledale Miner’s Lodge in view of the Coledale colliery’s closure with the Excelsior delegate suggesting that the mine may not be shut down for good. Adding that over 12 miles of rail was laid in the mine with not one pair of rails having been pulled up. (South Coast Times & W’Gong Argus, 26/11/1926 p18)
*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. (Barnes, History of Coledale)
1936 – July 11th, Excelsior Collieries & Coke Works Ltd instructs auctioneers, F. R. Strange, to dispose of the infrastructure and equipment from North Bulli Colliery – Coledale. Included were;
172 x 12cwt wooden mine skips, heavy “G” wheel rope haulage, 9’ diam. Sirocco d/inlet fan, 2 x 30HP Sullivan DC Coal Cutters etc. plus buildings;
2 x brick Beehive Coke Ovens, Power House Building, Engineer’s workshop plus
1 x 5 roomed weatherboard cottage and land, Cater & Young Streets, Coledale and
42 acres land at Coledale Hts, Torrens Title. (SMH 27/06/1936)
1936-38 – No reference to Nth Bulli #2 Colliery in DoMARs.
1943 – North Bulli Colliery at Coledale reported as “recently opened” by Kirton at AGM of Excelsior Collieries & Cokeworks Ltd AGM (SMH 18/12/1943, p5 ex Trove)
1946 – Listed as working 213 days (DoMAR 1946)
1947 - No reference to Nth Bulli #2 Colliery in DoMAR.
1948 - Listed as working 218 days (DoMAR 1948)
1949 – 17th Jan, an electrical fault on a coal cutter causes a minor fire (DoMAR 1949)
1950 – Reported as 2 electrical safety lamps in use at the colliery (DoMAR 1950)
1951 - No reference to Nth Bulli #2 Colliery in DoMAR.
1959 – North Bulli No. 2 Colliery (Excelsior Collieries & Coke Works Ltd) situated ~1 mile west of Coledale with a projected life of about 3 years. All coal hand won, approx. 40 tons/day, taken to Excelsior No. 2 Colliery for washing. SMRS has established a training gallery in an old tunnel. (DoMAR 1959)
1963 – Austinmer Colliery entrances bricked up.
1972 – 11th May, Notice of Discontinuance from the North Bulli No. 2 Colliery is received by the Dept. of Mines (DoMAR 1972).
1973 – North Bulli Collieries Pty Ltd purchases Sth Clifton, Excelsior and North Bulli Collieries from Clutha Development Pty Ltd. Orchestrated by George Oden Jennings, ex CEO of Clutha Development (1965-70).
1973 – 1st Sept, Notice of Recommencement from the North Bulli No. 2 Colliery is received by the Dept. of Mines (DoMAR 1974).
1973 – 28th Nov, Notice of Discontinuance from the North Bulli No. 2 Colliery is received by the Dept. of Mines (DoMAR 1974).
1979 – Feb, INTERCOMP, Resource Development & Engineering, Inc. submits a proposal to North Bulli Collieries Pty Ltd for the degasification of its coal seams
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