1974 - 2002
Location: South of Appin
Renamed: Appin West and amalgamated with Appin Colliery
1974 – 17th Oct, Notice of Commencement received by the Dept. of Mines (DoM records).
Ex 1975 Wollongong Symposium
Site works commenced October 1974
2 x vertical shafts, 490m deep
D/C 7.5 m dia. 750kW M&M winder, 180 men, 2 decks at 240 m/min or 10 tonnes at 240 m/min or 35 tonnes at 60 m/min.
U/C 6.1 m dia. Bulk Skip Hoist at 600 tonnes/hr (nearly identical to Corrimal #3 Shaft)
66kV 10MVA substation
2 x centrifugal fans each 450kW
Initial production planned for May 1978 and designed for 4000 t/d at full development
1985 – Chris McDonald appointed Deputy Manager of Tower Colliery (formerly UMIC, Corrimal Colliery). [BHP Documents – 30th Sept 1985]
1993 – April, Hank Pinkster, appointed Mine Manager, Tower Colliery (Coal News May, 1993)
1996 – Tower #3 Ventilation Shaft utilising the raise-boring technique is in progress.
1997 - The original 2.44m diameter raise bore is down-reamed utilising a VRM (vertical reaming machine), a converted tunnel boring machine. The VRM was persevered with until at 478 metres depth it was withdrawn due to ongoing difficulties and the remaining 37 metres (to seam) completed by shotfiring, the final shots were fired on 13th May 1997.
2002 – Longwall production record for September, 236,514 tonnes. Recovery of 156 l/w chocks and other equipment to surface by end of October 2002.
2002 – General information to BHP staff ex Mine Manager, Frank Hendriks, 20/12/2002; “The entire Tower Colliery workforce, excepting key staff, worked their last shifts on 19th December, 2002.” Recovery of all equipment after the completion of L/W 20 was completed by afternoon shift 19/12/2002. Future activities limited to the automation of u/g pumping from Appin White Panel.
2002 – 31st December, Tower Colliery closes being integrated into the Appin Colliery mine workings and being known as the Douglas District. The Tower shafts to be renamed Appin #4 and #5 remaining as Men & Materials to Appin Colliery with Longwall production coming to the surface at Appin pit top. Appin moves from L/W Area 5 to Douglas District Area 7 with a proposed 300 metre face length planned.
Tower Colliery Pit-top