The colliery was located on the escarpment southwest of the village of Dapto and commenced operations in the Wongawilli seam in May 1971. It was a completely new mine, owned and developed by the Austin and Butta Group. That company operated the mine from 1971 to 1987, before closing and selling it to South Coast Equipment P/L. It ceased operations in April 2000, due to changes in local and export coal markets which rendered its operation uneconomic.
The surface installations included an administration building, bathrooms, workshops and store erected adjacent to the mine portal level. A conveyor belt coal haulage system was used, and rubber tyred diesel equipment provided for the transport of men and materials to and from the underground workings. A 200 t/h dense media coal preparation plant was constructed in 1973, with a stockpile and refuse emplacement area below the mine portal level.
In its first phase of operation the mine displayed high productivity, utilising continuous miners and shuttle cars in a bord and pillar operation. It achieved a run-of-mine (ROM) coal output of 980,000 tonnes in 1976, with 130 employees. Following its sale in 1987 it operated at a lesser capacity, with a single continuous miner and two shuttle cars, reaching an output of 400,000 tonnes (ROM) in 1996/7, with 54 workers.
Avon Colliery – Rehabilitation
From the collections of the Wollongong City Library
and the Illawarra Historical Society P19248
The mine ceased operations in 2000, and the mine portals were sealed. The onsite surface plant and equipment was disposed of by auction, and any remaining plant was dismantled and removed from the site.