North Cliff Colliery
(West Cliff Extended)
1980 – c. 1994
1980 – Consent as per Order No. 27 is granted by the Joint Coal Board to Coal Cliff Collieries Pty Ltd to sink 2 shafts as per the letter dated 3rd March 1980. (Dated 19th March 1980, signed Thomas Arthur Squires and Anthony Cornelius Girard, JCB)
1982 – The sinking of West Cliff No.3 and No. 4 shafts is commenced. (DoMAR 1982)
1984 – West Cliff Extended - Reserves of 45 million tonnes in situ. Due to commence operations in 1986/1987 (“Coal in NSW – Industry Profile 1984”, Mineral Resources & Energy)
1986 - West Cliff Extended – Snapshot 1986:-
Employees 22 (30/06/86). Bulli Seam 2.0m. Balgownie and Wongawilli seams are uneconomical. Coal transported by private road 14km to West Cliff Coal Prep Plant.
A Bord and Pillar operation, access is via two shafts. 2 x Joy 12CMs, 2 x Joy S/C, 2 x Noyes S/C. 25,000 ton open stockpile. It is proposed to expand to 2 Mt/a raw coal. (NSW Coal Industry Profile. Dept. of Mineral Resources, 1986)
1989 - West Cliff No. 3 and 4 Shafts – Snapshot 1989:-
Employees 22 (30/06/88). Bulli Seam 2.0m. Production for 1987/88; 0.07 Mt.
A Bord and Pillar operation, access is via two shafts. 2 x Joy 12CMs, 2 x Joy S/C, 2 x Noyes S/C. (NSW Coal Industry Profile. Dept. of Mineral Resources, 1989)
1989 – North Cliff Colliery – Officially named as from March 1st, 1989. (KCC Publ. V4#1)
1989 – KCC proposes a cross country conveyor linking North Cliff to Coal Cliff via West Cliff (KCC Publ. V4#5)
1989 – The Kemcol Beaver Mk II, a joint venture between KCC, the Anderson Group and NERDDP, gives the go-ahead to build the miner in Scotland. (KCC Publ. V4#6)
1990 – North Cliff Colliery – Production by continuous miner commences in February, 1990. ~400t/d. (KCC Publ. V5#1)
1990-Apr-May – A moving bed bunker, the first in Australia, is installed and in the commissioning phase. The plant self-loads up to 400 tonnes of coal u/g if the bin is full, automatically unloading when the bin empties. The current manager is Kerry Burke. (KCC Publ. V5#2)
1990-Aug-Sep – Operations are carried out on a two shift, “super panel” concept with A/shift preparing and supplying the panel with N/shift production. (KCC Publ. V5#4)
1990-Oct-Nov – Production is above plan, ave 900 – 1000 tonnes/day from <50 employees. (KCC Publ.)
1991 - North Cliff – Snapshot 1991:-
Employees 44 (31/08/90). Bulli Seam 2.0m. Production 1989/90; 0.04 Mt.
Bord and Pillar operation. Access via two shafts. 2 x Joy 12CMs, 2 x Joy S/C, 2 x Noyes S/C. Previously known as West Cliff No. 3 and 4 Shafts (NSW Coal Industry Profile. Dept. of Mineral Resources, 1991)
1991 – Mine Manager, Kerry Burke, present at an u/g safety award – no lost time injuries during 1990. (KCC Conveyor Vol 6, #2)
1991 – North Cliff (and West cliff) is used as a site to trial Longhole Drilling as a means of in-seam exploration. NC-1 was drilled some 733m in advance of the face, a total of 1026m including the 12 branches. (“Longhole Drilling Experiences at West Cliff and North Cliff Collieries” a paper by R. Walsh, KCC Ltd, presented at the ACA Underground Coal Mining Exploration Techniques Workshop, Brisbane Nov, 1991).
1991 – The North Cliff Mine and the Beaver Team have designed a 20 t/min surge car to cater for the high production anticipated from the Beaver. Currently under construction by Stamler in the US. (KCC Conveyor Vol 6, #4)
1992 – Since mid July coal has been won by the new “Kemcol Beaver” officially known as the Anderson KB11 continuous miner attempting to achieve the handover target of 25m/shift for 45 consecutive shifts. Operated by driver, Chris Rogan, the men are optimistic for the new machine.
The night shift is trialling “place changing” with the Deputy, Russell Cooper, quite enthusiastic as to the method, claiming safety and less manual work as the benefits. The members of night shift, Russell Cooper, John Williams, Brett Johnson, Gary Barraclough, John Zelvis, Phil Burke, Garry Oddy, Joe Contreras and Craig Anderson appeared to prefer the new system. (The KCC Conveyor, Vol 7, No 3, June/July 1992)
1993 - North Cliff – Snapshot 1993:-
Employees 44 (31/08/92). Bulli Seam 2.1m. Balgownie and Wongawilli seams are uneconomical. Production 1991/92; 0.18 Mt. Coal transported by private road 14km to West Cliff Coal Prep Plant.
Bord and Pillar operation. Access via two shafts. 2 x Joy 12CMs, 4 x Joy S/C, 2 x Fletcher Bolters, 1 x Jeffery RAM Car. (NSW Coal Industry Profile. Dept. of Mineral Resources, 1993)
1993 – The Beaver was removed from North Cliff, Oct, 1992, undergone a complete rebuild and returned to West Cliff for use at that mine. (The KCC Conveyor, Vol 8, No 2, March/May 1993)
1995 – No record of North Cliff (NSW Coal Industry Profile. Dept. of Mineral Resources, 1995)
1996 – Underground connection between West Cliff and North Cliff established January 1996 (pers.com J. Coll, W/Cliff)
1996 – North Cliff reported as being on “Care & Maintenance” (Australian Coal Year Book, 1996)
1997 – Purchased by BHP on 28/03/1997 along with West Cliff Colliery.
2000 – Final sealing (capping) of shafts 22/01/2000 (pers.com J. Coll, W/Cliff)