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The Kimbolton coal mine in Tasmania's Derwent Valley is operated occasionally as an open pit mining venture for its owners, Cement Australia, who use the coal found there at their own cement operations at Railton. Cement Australia also supply other Tasmanian industries such as the newsprint mill at Boyer. Some of the coal finds its way into the agricultural and metal industries.

No Workers Employed full Time at the Kimbolton Coal Mine

No workers are employed at the mine on a full time basis as Cornwall Coal Company staff are brought in from their other operations when needed. Cornwall Coal Company is a subsidiary of Cement Australia that manages the company's other coal mines in the Fingal Valley, for the parent company.

Small Deposit Being Slowly Eaten Away

The thermal coal deposit at Kimbolton was estimated to be around 600,000 tonnes in 2004 but this is being eaten away, bit by bit, by irregular mining activities taking place at the site. The coal that is taken from the mine is transported to Cornwall Coal Company's preparation plant at Fingal before being distributed to its customers.

Cornwall Coal Currently Operate all of Tasmania's Coal Mines

Cornwall Coal Company operate both underground and open pits mines in various locations around Tasmania as well as a coal washing plant and processing facilities at Fingal. Its main operations are in the North East of the island with the Kimbolton mine being their only mine outside of that area. Overall the company produces 400,000 tonnes of washed coal a year, with a workforce of around 70 personnel. The coal they produce supplies almost all of Tasmania's coal needs, particularly that of the cement works at Railton, near Devonport on the North West Coast.

Coal has been found in many places around Tasmania since the days of white settlement. One of the earliest being operated at Port Arthur during the days of the convict settlement that was established there. However, the biggest deposit of black coal in the state was discovered in the Fingal Valley in 1863. After a railway line was established to St Marys in the Fingal Valley in 1886 the deposit was able to be mined on a large scale. It has remained Tasmania's major coal mining area ever since.

Oil Forced Decline in Coal Production in Tasmania

When oil became readily available the Tasmanian coal industry declined dramatically and it was not until more efficient transportation around the state occurred in the 1960's that the industry found a new future for itself. This allowed steaming coal to suddenly became economically competitive once again. The two biggest coal devouring industries in the state remain the Norske Skog Newsprint Paper Mill at Boyer and the Cement Australia operation at Railton.

Competition on the way

The Cornwall Coal Company remains the only producer of coal in the state although the State Government recently approved another company, HardRock Coal Mining, to open a one million tonnes a year operation on the Duncan 'F' seam in the Fingal Valley. This is to be an underground coal mine in an area once known to support the 'Valley Mines.' This multi- million dollar venture will involve the establishment of the underground mine itself and above ground infrastructure that will include administrative buildings, staff amenities and a workshop.

The Cornwall Coal Company processes the coal mined at the Kimbolton mine at its washery at the Duncan siding. Company production of raw coal totalled 540,024 tonnes in the financial year 2010/11. Saleable coal totalled 342,760 tonnes.

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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