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The Blackwood underground colliery in the Fingal Valley Region of Tasmania is located near the small town of St Marys. The mine produces bituminous coal for the Cornwall Coal Company, a fully owned subsidiary of Cement Australia, who also own the Railton Cement works near Devonport on the North West Coast.

Blackwood Coal is washed at the Fingal Coal Washing Plant

Cornwall Coal also own and operate other coal mines in the Fingal Valley. All mines initially send their coal to the town of Fingal where it is washed and sent out to its various customers by means of the Tasmanian state railway system. There are approximately 70 employees working for Cornwall Coal along with about 16 contractors.

Natural gas has Taken its Toll on the Demand for Blackwood Coal
Regular purchasers of the coal derived from the Blackwood underground colliery once included Simplot, an agricultural vegetable processor at Scottsdale and Ulverstone, UMT, a milk processor at Spreyton, Cadbury, a chocolate maker at Glenorchy, and Cascade, a brewing company in Hobart. All of these companies have switched over to natural gas in recent years. This only leaves the Norske Skog Paper mill at Boyer near New Norfolk and Cement Australia at Railton as the major customers still requiring a coal product.

Coal is now Mined at Blackwood Four
The Blackwood Colliery, which is located 85 kilometres south east of Launceston, Tasmania's second largest city, produces coal from its Blackwood 4 underground operation which has a life of mine of at least thirty more years. Its average production of raw coal is around 600,000 tonnes a year that delivers an average saleable coal amount of around 370,000 tonnes.

Coal Mining Remains the Predominant Industry in the Fingal Valley
Although coal has been mined in different parts of Tasmania since the 1800's, the major deposits have all been found in the Fingal Valley. Coal being discovered there in 1863. Large scale coal mining first occurred in the Fingal Valley in 1886 following the construction of the railway to St Marys. Although coal production in Tasmania is nothing like it was during the height of steam driven driven machinery of yesteryear, it remains the predominant industry of the Fingal Valley and north east Tasmania to this day.

Coal Mining in Tasmania Overcame the Competition From Cheap oil Imports

The advent of cheap oil based fuel imported into Tasmania caused a sudden decline in coal mining in Tasmania until the mid-1960's, when steaming coal once again became competitive, owing to more efficient mining and transportation methods being introduced within the industry. The main coal users in the state remain the Norske Skog newsprint mill at boyer and Cement Australia at Railton.

Blackwood Coal an Ideal Fuel for Providing Process Heat

The Cornwall Coal Company is the only supplier of coal for the domestic market in Tasmania. Coal mined at The Blackwood underground mine produces a low thermal, high ash value coal that is ideally suited to the manufacturing of cement where it is used to to provide process heat. In recent years there has been a significant drop in the demand for coal in Tasmania because of the introduction of natural gas.

Cement Australia

Over 1100 employees working for Cement Australia


Cement Australia
18 Station Avenue
Darra, QLD 4076

PO Box 1328
Milton, QLD 4064


Phone07 3335 3000
fax07 3335 3227

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