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The 125 year old Metropolitan underground coal mine is located within the town of Helensburgh, 30 kilometres north of Woolongong in the Illawarra Region of New South Wales. The mine is owned by Peabody Energy Australia and has a workforce of around 570 personnel.

Metropolitan, the Oldest Still Working Coal Mine in Australia, is Located in the World's Second Oldest National Park
The Metropolitan Mine is situated amidst the second oldest national park in the world and has become renown for its environmental and technical innovation, such as being the first mine to use PUR (Polyurethane Resin) injections as a filler for local shallow surface cracking to restore water flows into the Sydney Water Catchment, especially in the Waratah Rivulet. It has also trialled underground emplacement of reject material, a mining first in Australia. The Metropolitan Mine is the life blood of the town of Helensburgh and the major contributor to the economic stability of the region.

Metropolitan Coal Taken by Rail to Port Kembla
Most of the coking coal mined at the Metropolitan Mine is taken by rail to Port Kembla from where it is shipped to the company's domestic and overseas customers. Some of its production is taken by truck to the Corrimul and Coalcliff Coke Works in Wollongong.

Metropolitan Colliery Workings Take Place 500 Metres Below the Surface
The Metropolitan Colliery grounds are entered off Parks Street within the town of Helensburgh. The mine itself can not be seen from the entrance as it is situated in a natural valley within the Royal National Park. Most of the mine workings take place 500 metres below the surface that is reached by the mine workers having to be lowered by means of a high speed lift from the surface. They are then transported by rail through 100 year old tunnels for five kilometres. This ride lasts about half an hour. The workers are then taken by Jeeps along smaller tunnels until they are dropped off to walk the rest of the way to the coal face to begin the days work. This trip from the surface to their work place takes around an hour to complete.

Coal Mined at Rate of 15 Tonnes Every Thirty Seconds
The mining machinery used at the Metropolitan Mine is able to extract 15 tonnes of coal every thirty seconds from the high grade coal seam. The working conditions are rather dim and cloudy from the coal dust that is stirred up as the machines work away at the coal face.

Metropolitan Known Locally as the Helensburgh Mine
The Metropolitan Colliery, that is better known locally as the Helensburgh Mine, was officially opened 1888 when it was known as Metropolitan Coal Company of Sydney. It is the oldest continuously operating coal mine in Australia. Today, it is one of international coal mining company, Peabody Energy's, 11 coal mines in New South Wales and Queensland. Most of the coal produced at these mines is used to run power stations for electricity generation throughout Australia and Asia. The coal is also sought after by steel manufacturers in South America, India, Taiwan, Europe and Japan.

Metropolitan, the First Mine in Australia to use Diamond Drilling
The Metropolitan Mine also started out making its mark in Australia's mining history as it was the first to be explored with the use of diamond drilling. The hole put down by a diamond tipped drill occurred at the mine on November 20, 1883 after the diamond drill and engine was taken to the site under the supervision of John Coghlan. The bore was drilled to a depth of 720 feet nine inches overlooking Camp Creek Gulley. The first drill hole wasn't all that successful as the ground was of poor quality and over 200 pounds worth of diamonds were lost before the hole reached 250 feet. The bore finally caved in after passing through soft shale. A second bore was more successful.

The Metropolitan mine has a life of mine of another 23 years and is increasing its annual production to 2.8 million tonnes.

Peabody Energy

From humble beginnings, a 24 year old Francis. S Peabody started selling high quality coal to homes and businesses throughout Chicago in 1883 from the back of his cart. Within 7 years Francis opened his first coal mine in Williamson County.In 1903 Peabody won its first coal supply agreement with more


Peabody Energy
100 Melbourne Street
South Brisbane, QLD 4000


Phone07 3225 5500
fax07 3225 5555

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