Port Kembla No.2 Colliery
(aka Illawarra Colliery)
Location: - Southern flank of Mt Kembla.
Owned: - Illawarra Coke Co. Pty Ltd
Port Kembla No. 2 Colliery Pty Ltd (1947)
Kembla Coal and Coke Co. Pty Ltd (1954/55)
Australian Iron and Steel (15-02-1965)
Dept. of Land & Environment (Dept. of Education) (1988)
Seams: - Bulli
Wongawilli – commercial operations as a coking coal
American Ck. – no commercial value
Tongarra – split, considered no commercial value
Woonona – worked commercially as a non-coking coal
Cordeaux – located by drilling only – no commercial value
Unanderra – located by drilling only – no commercial value
Opened: - 1920?
Closed: - Cease production 30-09-1964
Resealed and Rehabilitated 2006
1905 – John Benjamin, born Mt Kembla, 1879, purchased 33 acres, part Por 155 (a 67acre grant to David James). Constructs house, 1908, resides till 1953. A survivor of the Mt Kembla explosion. The house was located just south and 200 yards above the two South Kembla (sic) tunnels reputably opened in 1860’s. These tunnels were brick lined for first 100 yards, with an incline down the mountain, crossing the highway near AIS line at Unanderra to Cokeworks near Five Islands Road. The author considers these tunnels to be the Southern Coal Company’s mine.
1912 – William Wiley bought up the early grants for mine prospecting. Some 211 acres was owned by John Beatson. John Hurt, Unanderra, managed this prospecting for Wiley, opening numerous small tunnels.
1914 – William Wiley is involved in setting up the Mt Kembla Extended Coal & Coke Co on the Southern Coal Co property, acquiring Portions 70, 71, 72, 158, 159, 173 & 155 Parish of Kembla. (Planning document – Wollongong.nsw.gov)
Early 1920’s – Illawarra Coke Co. Ltd leased the Wiley and Beatson properties for prospecting, John Benjamin leaving the Mt Kembla Colliery and joining ICC.
Late 1920’s – a tunnel was opened up on the south side of Mt. Kembla managed by John Benjamin, its coal being transported on the unfinished Govt. rail (Unanderra - Moss Vale constructed 1927 – 1932). This would appear to be the Woonona seam workings of the PK2 mine.
In the 1940’s a new mine was opened higher up and in a different seam by John Benjamin with a new company called Port Kembla No. 2 Colliery being formed. John Benjamin retired as manager in 1947, at age 68, with P. Ellis being next manager with J. Hayes replacing Ellis upon his retirement.
Ivy Murray c. 1975 – “Round the Round Mountain” Published “Illawarra Historical Society Bulletin”, July and August, 1975. (Mrs. Ivy Murray is the daughter of Mr. John Benjamin.)
1922 – Illawarra Colliery reports to DoM as opening and having 1 man at the surface with 2 men u/g. (DoMAR 1922)
1922 – DAW Robertson (coal mining consultant) prepares a report on Illawarra Colliery for H. G. Hyde.
H G Hyde and Illawarra Coke Company hold an interest in the Port Kembla Coal Company Ltd which had attempted to mine the Mt Kembla property.
1923 – Illawarra Colliery reports to DoM as having 0 men at the surface with 3 men u/g. (DoMAR 1923)
1924 - Illawarra Colliery reports to DoM as having 1 man at the surface with 5 men u/g. (DoMAR 1924)
1925 - Illawarra Colliery reports to DoM as being discontinued, previously having 1 man at the surface with 3 men u/g. (DoMAR 1925)
1925 – “Exploration work at the Illawarra Colliery has been slow and costly due to unforeseen and unavoidable difficulties. The railway from Wollongong to Moss Vale, which has been started, will pass through the Illawarra Colliery property” (SMH 23rd June 1925)
1928 – Portions are transferred to the Illawarra Coke Co. (ICC) including Por. 311 (Beatson) and 156 (Harvey) together with the residue of Por. 5. (Planning document – Wollongong.nsw.gov)
1928 –Illawarra Colliery is shown as having no employees and undergone no inspections (DoMAR 1928)
1929 - Illawarra Colliery reports to DoM as having 1 man at the surface with 5 men u/g. (DoMAR 1929)
1931 – Unsatisfactory ventilation conditions at the Illawarra Colliery were recorded by the DoM inspector. (DoMAR 1931)
1932 – Illawarra Colliery reported as being inspected (DoMAR 1932)
1933 – Illawarra Colliery reported as being inspected but “not working” (DoMAR 1933)
1933 – Illawarra Colliery sold to the Port Kembla Coal Co. (R. Kininmonth, Article in AusIMM Bulletin Dec 2009)
1933 – November 13, the Port Kembla Coal Company’s siding (renamed Unanderra West siding in December 1943) was officially opened on the Unanderra – Moss Vale rail line.
(Jacobson., O. F. 1977 “Illawarra Mountain Railway”)
1934 – Illawarra Colliery reported as being inspected (DoMAR 1934)
1935 – “Plan of Port Kembla No. 2 Colliery”, 2 chns to 1 inch, A. Winstanley, Oct 1935. A key date of 5/1/1934 appears on several the initial driveages, viz, No 2 Seam (Balgownie) Portals (final face measurement dated 1/12/1941 D.F.), No 6 Seam (Woonona) workings at the portals (final face measurement dated 31/12/1942 D.F.) and the “Fire Clay Seam” prospect heading (floor of Woonona Seam).
1935 – Illawarra Colliery reported as being inspected (DoMAR 1935)
1936 – Port Kembla Coal Co. in negotiations with Council re cost of proposed road to colliery. (SCT, 26/6/1936)
1936 – Illawarra Colliery lodges notification of discontinuance (DoMAR 1936)
1937 - Illawarra Colliery reported as being inspected (DoMAR 1937)
1938 – Illawarra Colliery not mentioned in DoMAR 1938.
1939 – Illawarra Colliery not mentioned in DoMAR 1939.
In the 1940’s, because of war requirements, coal was allocated by the Coal Distribution Committee.
1940 – 24th July - H G Hyde (ICC) writes to the committee in an attempt to resume mining at the Port Kembla Coal Company’s property, suggesting “entering into an arrangement to assist Port Kembla Coal Co. to resume mining. Port Kembla Coal Company has commenced to open up the No. 2 Seam – will be in production within 6 – 8 weeks.” (Aligns with Winstanley plan of 1935).
1940 – Port Kembla Coal Company Ltd is used to open a new mine on Mt Kembla. (#2 seam?)
1940 – 24th Aug. Advertisement for a Mine Manager’s position at Port Kembla No 2 (SMH 24/08/40 p23 ex Trove)
1940 – PK2 management agrees to employ only cavilled out members of the Southern District. (Ill Merc, 22/11/1940, p13)
1941 – 31st Mar. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report: - “output from Cokeworks restricted by lack of coal supplies, arrangement has been made in conjunction with Port Kembla Coal Company Ltd to open a mine near Mt Kembla”.
1941 – B H Associated Smelters Co take over leases to mine the Woonona and Balgownie Seams. (Planning document – Wollongong.nsw.gov)
1941 – 13th Dec. - Coal samples are taken from the #2 seam (Balgownie) and the #6 seam (Woonona). Samples analysed by AIS for Port Kembla Coal Coy. [Certificate of Analysis, 12th January 1942, H Nicholls, Chief Metallurgist]
1942 – Illawarra Coke Co. purchases Port Kembla Company’s assets and acquires freehold land previously leased by Port Kembla Coal Co.
1942 – 31st Mar - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report: - “ICC enters into possession of the Port Kembla No 2 Colliery”.
1942 – “For the acquisition of the Port Kembla No. 2 Colliery as from June 1st, 1942, the company (Illawarra Coke Co.) issued 20,278 shares of 10/- each and capital now stands at £70,889.” (The Argus, 12/8/1942)
1942 – Mr Hyde, Chairman Illawarra Coke Co. said that the No 2 seam was considered so thin that it should be operated under the most efficient conditions. Considerable expenditure would be necessary to equip the colliery. (SMH, 21/8/1942)
1942 – 31st Dec. - Port Kembla No 2 Colliery - first No.3 Seam (Wongawilli) portal (the eastern most and return) has been driven an initial 50 metres.
1942 – 31st Dec. - Final face measurement date in Woonona seam workings. Faces are shown several metres beyond survey date.
Woonona Seam Workings 31-12-1942
1943 – 31st Mar. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report: - “Very little work carried out at PK2 during year”.
1944 – 31st Mar. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report: - “Decision to expedite reopening PK2 to assist in coal shortages suffered in previous year”.
April 1944 – PK2 commences production
1944 – 6th May - Port Kembla No2 Colliery - second No.3 Seam (Wongawilli) portal (the transport heading) has been driven an initial 50 metres.
1944 – 9th Aug. - Application to Mines Dept. for Proposed Bath and Change house Accommodation for PK2 – signed for by H. G. Hyde, Managing Director, Illawarra Coke Company Ltd.
1945 – 31st Mar. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report:- “PK2 commenced production in April 1944. Plan for new bath house at the colliery approved by Minister for Mines, 21/9/1944”.
1945 – Council meeting debate as to responsibility of road repairs along Farmborough Rd (Ill. Merc. 15/06/1945, p5 ex Trove)
1945 – 22nd Oct. - Letter from H.G. Hyde (ICC) to O. G. Vickery (Coal Cliff Colliery) “PK2 – B Pit driving 3 headings on #3 seam, 250 yards (from portals), encountered dyke, request jackhammer.”
1946 – 14th Feb. - Mine plan showing that western portal (3rd portal) had not yet been opened. Three development roadways currently approximately 450 yards inbye portals.
1946 – 31st Mar. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report:- “PK2 developing satisfactorily”.
1946 – Electricity discontinued at PK No2 “C” pit. [#6 Seam?] (DoMAR1946)
1947 – An extraordinary meeting of the shareholders (10/1/1947) carried a resolution sanctioning the disposal of the company’s colliery at Mt Kembla, known as the Port Kembla No. 2 colliery. (The SMH, 11/1/1947)
1947- January. A.G. Ellis (mine manager) reports to H.G. Hyde as to recommendations for improvements to Port Kembla No.2 Colliery. Gives insight as to facilities at the mine, in part:-
Coal is loaded from a siding on the Moss Vale - Unanderra Rail Line
Coal seam is 6’4” high
Hand mining from face into horse drawn skips to portal, lowered to siding by incline and rope
Current small ventilating fan (on eastern portal) inadequate and too close to building
1947 – Jan 25th. Illawarra Coke Co advertises for a “Certified Colliery Surveyor” for PK2 (a 2nd Class ticket desirable) (SMH 25/01/1940 p34 ex Trove)
1947 – 31st Mar. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report: - “PK2 costs rose considerably”.
1947 – 18th Oct. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report: - “Output down from scheduled 72,000 tons to actual 27,593 tons. Disposal of colliery imminent, said Mr Hyde”. (SMH 18/10/1947)
1947 – 30 Electrical Safety Lamps reported as in use by PK2 (DoMAR 1947)
1948 – A No. 3 Seam outcrop survey between PK2 workings and Atchison’s Tunnel undertaken by W. Simpson, PK2 Surveyor. (A. Ellis - Mine Manager).
1948 – 31st Mar. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Report:- “Sale of PK2 completed during year. Formation of a new Port Kembla No 2 Colliery Pty Ltd gives access to capital via BHAS.”
Four cottages built for colliery staff on site.
1948 – A survey reveals that improvements required by the Joint Coal Board have been carried out across all collieries with PK2 installing both surface and u/g tea making facilities, power borers, a new bath house and 4 x cottages for staff members 50% complete. Town water supply is being connected and a bus service inaugurated. (SCT 24/6/1948).
1949 – June – Approval is granted in respect to a Building Application submitted to the Greater Wollongong Council from PK2 for the installation of a £15,000 coal conveyor from the tunnel mouth to the screens. (SCT 9/6/1949).
1949 – Reported as working 203 days during the year (max of all mines). 60 Electric Safety Lamps in use. (DoMAR 1949)
1950 – 12th Apr. – A winch at PK2 “B” pit was washed away during recent floods (SMH 12/4/1950)
1950 – PK2 works 229 ½ days and has 52 electric cap lamps in use.
1951 – 17th Jul. - Annual Illawarra Coke Company Ltd Report: - “Further finance is required to prove the area near Moss Vale. The PK2 mine would be completely mechanised soon, the work taking longer and more costly than expected, said Mr H. G. Hyde.” (SMH17/07/1951)
1952 – Chairman, Mr H. G. Hyde, reports that the first stage of mechanisation of PK2 will be completed by end of 1952. The contract with PK2 Colliery Pty Ltd in which ICC holds 50,000 £1 shares had enabled ICC to earn more by producing more coke. (SMH 20/08/1952)
1954 – Allegation that PK2 is considering erecting coke ovens in a disused Public Works Dept. quarry on Five Islands Road, Unanderra, is refuted by the Manager, Mr. A. G. Ellis. (SCT, 8/11/1954, p5)
1954/55 – Coal Cliff Colliery and the Illawarra Coke Works are purchased by Kembla Coal and Coke Pty Ltd including ICC’s shares in Port Kembla No.2 Colliery (Rogers, B. 2005)
16-25/7/1956 – Face samples taken from Woonona seam workings by A.C.A.R. (approx. 30 tons)
1956 – Jul. - Woonona seam sample analysis by A.C.A.R. forwarded to the Electricity Commission as possible supply to Tallawarra Power Station.
1956 – Sep. - Document showing that Charles Anderson – PK2 Mine Manager at this time.
1956 – 29th Oct. – A letter to H. G. Hyde (Managing Director PK2) from J. A. Hayes (Acting Mine Manager) re #6 seam analyses.
1956 – 5th Nov – A letter from H. G. Hyde to the Electricity Commission advocating the use of PK2 No. 6 seam coal at the Tallawarra Power Station.
1956 – 20th Nov. - Application to drill 3 additional DD Holes to further prove the Woonona coal sent to Dept. of Mines.
1956 – Dec - results of drilling for #6 seam compiled. Signed by Mine Manager, J. A. Hayes, 8/1/1957.
1957 – 8th Jan. – Results of A.C.A.R.’s ash analysis of #8 (Unanderra) seam reported.
1958 – 4th Mar. – JCB report by E. A. Wright re “Geological Survey – PK2”.
1958 – 8th Aug. - Report on Geophysical Test Survey (primarily to investigate igneous activity in the Woonona seam. J. A. Hayes, Mine Manager, H. D. Sharp, Surveyor.
1958 – Dec. – A letter from the Colliery Manager to H. G. Hyde outlines a table of coal reserves in #2 & #3 seams. The #2 Seam has a 3’4” and No 3 seam a 6’4” working section. The manager notes that a bulldozer track has been cleared to access the existing #2 seam portals, the workings having collapsed. This is regarded as the optimum location for access into the #2 seam by the manager.
1959 – No 3 seam workings – hand worked, approximately 400 tons/day, using chain face conveyors and belt conveyors – faces just over ½ mile from portals.
1960 – Mar. - “Proposed Mechanisation of Wongawilli Seam. PK2” – J. A. Hayes (Colliery Manager).
Includes proposed 85 personnel required etc.
1960 – Mar. - 98” Aerex fan being installed in western portal replacing small belt driven fan in eastern portal. Anticipated 200,000 c.f.m @ 2 ½ “w.g.
1960 – 11th Apr. - Cost estimates for mechanisation of colliery calculated.
1960 – 17th Jun. – A fire occurs 250m inbye portal in main haulage tunnel. It is thought to have been caused by an oxy-acetylene torch used the previous evening. (DoMAR1960)
1960 – 18th Jun. - Mine sealed to extinguish fire. (Three adits within the Wongawilli seam)
1960 – 24th Jun. - Geological report by R. Nolan (AI&S). Includes;
Access by road or rail siding off Wollongong – Moss Vale line
PK2 owned by Illawarra Coal Company, (parent company Broken Hill Associated Smelters S.A.)
Mine Manager – J. Hayes, U/Manager – A. Paton. Asst U/m // Surveyor – D. Thomas
Other seams previously worked (exploratory only) – Bulli, Balgownie & Woonona.
Wongawilli seam worked by hand, 24 miners, shot fired coal onto chain face conveyor, belt c/v to loading bins at railway siding then rail to steelworks or Coal Cliff Coke Ovens.
Production ~450 up to 600 tpd.
1960 – 3rd Aug. – The initial re-entry to the mine by rescue teams.
1960 – 8th Aug. – The ventilation is re-established in the Main Headings.
1960 – Aug. – Report - “Proposed Restoration of Fire Damage and Preparation for Production. PK2” - J. A. Hayes (Colliery Manager)
1960 – Hand mining abandoned, post fire, replaced by CM, loader and S/Car. (Planning document – Wollongong.nsw.gov)
1960 – Fatality – 20/10/1960, S. E. Thomas, shift man. (DoMAR 1960)
1961 – 5th Jan. - Geological report by R. Wilson (AI&S) incorporating part R. Nolan’s (24/6/1960) report.
1963 – 161,753 tonnes produced during calendar year 1963.
1963 – 30th Jun. - (Report) producing with one Continuous Miner
1963/64 – A series of coal sample analyses are produced by A.C.A.R.
AIS takes over PK2
1964 – A series of coal reserve calculations are produced.
1964 – 30th Sep. – PK2 Colliery ceases production with new owners (AI&S) taking over. Submits notice of discontinuance to Dept. (DoMAR 1964)
1964 – (October – 24th December) “all underground equipment removed and portals sealed”.
1964 – 25th Nov. – A report for the conversion of the surface buildings to offices and laboratory for Coal Geology is produced.
1965 – PK2 leases transferred to Nebo Colliery.
1965 – May 31, the Unanderra West siding on the Unanderra – Moss Vale rail line is closed. (Jacobson., O. F. 1977 “Illawarra Mountain Railway”)
1966 – 15th Nov. – A progress report as to the alterations and additions to the surface buildings is produced.
1966/67 – After modifications to buildings, BHP Geology occupies site.
1970 – A plan (S81) is produced showing the water pipe line to the residences at “old PK2 Colliery.”
1988 – BHP sells property to Dept. of Land & Environment. Dept. of Education establishes a Field Study Centre for school children.
1996 – Undertaking by BHP to seal PK2 portals to the current DMR guidelines.
2005 – A Photographic Record is made of PK2 by Brian Rogers.
2006 – All three Wongawilli seam portals resealed, covered and revegetated by Illawarra Coal Pty Ltd.
2008 – BHPBilliton (Illawarra Coal) relinquishes any further responsibilities for this site.
Harper 1915 –
Company formed to work the Bulli coal on south side of Mt Kembla Coal & Oil Co’s lease. Tunnel started on east slope of Mt Kembla near boundary of Por 155 by Mr. Pringle
Annual Report 1890 –
Southern Coal Co. driven ~ 0.5 mile in “top seam”, commencing in Por 193.
A Railway History of the Illawarra – JLN Southern, BHP Papers – 1978
Illawarra Colliery; Illawarra Coal Co opens in 1920 [by 1933 known as PK 2]
PK 2 – Operations cease in 1960
PK 2 – Purchased by AIS, becomes part of Nebo in 1964.
Dept. of Minerals;
PK2 opens (B/Ww.) 1933 Closes 1964
1940 - 1947 Benjamin, John
Jan, ’47 – 1947 Ellis, A. G.
1947 - ? Ellis, P.
? – 1956 Anderson, Charles
1956 – Dec,’56 Hayes, J. A. (Acting)
1957 – 1964 Hayes, J. A.