Nebo Colliery* | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Nebo Colliery*

Item details

Name of item: Nebo Colliery*
Type of item: Complex / Group
Category: Mine site
Primary address: Harry Graham Drive, Kembla Heights, NSW 2526
Local govt. area: Wollongong City
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Harry Graham DriveKembla HeightsWollongong City  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

This site is significant as it was the first mine to be opened as a fully mechanised mine in 1947. It was a green field mine development and its surface facilities were of the most modern design being fully mechanised upon opening. It is also significant for its association with Mt Kembla village and the surrounding area, for its relationship between mines, mining companies and their workers and for the joint ownership of the mine and the associated steel works. It is also significant for its association with the new Dendrobium Mine for which its facilities were chosen to support.
Date significance updated: 16 Feb 17
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1946-1993
Physical description: The two brick buildings dating from c 1947 that embraced the administration and mine workshop, and the bath house and lamp cabin for the Nebo Colliery operations, remain in use as part of the Dendrobium operations. The filling in of Nos. 1, 2, 3 shafts and restoration of the surface areas surrounding them was carried out in 2006. No. 4 shaft fan is being used to ventilate the Elouera Colliery using 1985-1986 fan and installation. The main entrance portal at Nebo remains open as an intake airway for Elouera. The main trunk haulage roadway that lead out of the mine to the Bradford Breaker is open as an air intake.

Nebo bath house (abridged from Irving 2001): "As usual in bath house buildings, it is divided into two sections: the dirty side, facing towards the track leading to the portal; and the clean side, addressing the once-landscaped area off the entrance driveway. An International-style building, with long strips of steel framed windows and roofs concealed by parapets, it is symmetrical about the taller centre bay which held the water reservoirs. As well as the usual showers, locker rooms and lamp rooms, it contained facilities for the treatment of injuries and for miners' meetings." (R Irving, 20th Century Architecture in Wollongong, pp. 85)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The Bradford Breaker Building has been demolished and the contents destroyed along with the decline conveyor and rail bins, and track work associated with both Mt Kembla and Nebo has been lifted and removed.
Modifications and dates: The greenfield site was developed in 1946. In 1951 mining operations were halted and some mining equipment was lost when a ‘creep’ occurred in a section of the mine. Mining operations resumed after intense roof support measures were undertaken.
In 1948 rubber tyred Joy shuttle cars were introduced. In 1954 caterpillar mounted continuous miners were introduced and in 1959 conveyor belts replaced the 10 tonne mine car to diesel locomotive main trunk track haulage duties with coal being cut and loaded into shuttle cars at the face.
In 1993 – Underground workings linked to the Wongawilli mine and Kemira leases to create the Elouera Mine. The administration, men, materials and management facilities of this new mine were concentrated at Wongawilli, with the Nebo surface portal entries remaining part of the Eloura mine ventilating system.
In 2001 – surface facilities were reworked as part of the new Dendrobium Colliery
Current use: Surface facilities now reworked and incorporated into Dendrobium Colliery
Former use: Coal Mining Colliery

History

Historical notes: This was a green field site mine development in 1946 on land included as part of the purchase by BHP/AIS of the Mount Kembla Colliery with the surface buildings and mine portals located on Portions 4 and 160, Parish of Kembla, County of Camden, near the site of the abandoned Pioneer Kerosene Works and in the midst of the historic Mount Kembla village.

Mining operations commenced in the Wongawilli or No 3 seam in 1947 as a fully mechanised mine, employing track mounted mechanical coal loaders and coal cutters, 10-tonne capacity mine cars and battery and diesel powered locomotives.

A geological disturbance was encountered early in the development of the mine which created adverse track haulage grades. A tunnel was driven from the workings in No 3 seam to create a diesel locomotive trunk road haulage system, using 10 tonne capacity mine cars to deliver the coal trains to the Coal Handling Board (Bradford breaker) Plant.

In 1951 mining operations were halted and some mining equipment was lost when a ‘creep’ occurred in a section of the mine. Mining operations resumed after intense roof support measures were undertaken to halt the spread of the ‘creep’ (an uncontrolled weighting of roof over a wide area of the mine that leads to the coal pillars being ‘crushed out’ and the roof collapsing).

Mine operations commenced using Jeffrey Manufacturing (USA) track mounted coal cutting and loading machines manufactured under license by AIS during and immediately after WW II. These machines were later abandoned in favour of caterpillar mounted Anderson Boyes (UK) cutters and Joy Manufacturing loaders whilst loading into track mounted 10 tonne mine cars which continued at the face. In 1948 rubber tyred Joy shuttle cars were introduced which provided haulage from the face to an outbye loading point where the coal was then loaded into 10 tonne mine cars.

In 1954 caterpillar mounted continuous miners were introduced, and in 1959 conveyor belts replaced the 10 tonne mine car to diesel locomotive main trunk track haulage duties, with coal being cut and loaded into shuttle cars at the face.

The mine and its surface facilities were of the most modern design and included administration, workshop and bathhouse buildings and a training school for mine workers. The Coal Handling Plant erected to the north of the main mine portals was provided with facilities to rotary dump ten ton capacity rail mounted mine cars loaded at the coal face.

The Coal Handling Plant provided a means of rotary dumping each 10 tonne mine car, sizing the coal and extracting the included stone using a Bradford Breaker. The coal from the plant was then loaded on to a conveyor belt and discharged into rail loading storage bins erected over rail track work linked to the original Mt Kembla colliery rail line and transported to the Port Kembla Steel Works on the Company’s private rail line.

In 1993 Nebo colliery ceased operations as a mine, with the underground workings being linked to the Wongawilli mine workings and Kemira leases to create the Elouera mine. The administration, men, materials and management functions of this new mine were concentrated at Wongawilli, with the Nebo surface portal entries remaining part of the Eloura mine ventilation system and providing access to and from the mine for statutory purposes.

In 2001 the surface facilities remaining at the Nebo colliery were chosen to support the development of the new Dendrobium Colliery and have been reworked to suit the needs of this new mine. (Coal Mining Sites of the Illawarra Study, 2005)

(Abridged from Irving 2001): "Nebo colliery was opened as a new mine by BHP in 1946, on the escarpment just south of the Mt Kembla mine, to work part of the Wongawilli seam. The ensemble of buildings included headquarters for administrative and professional staff, as well as larger and more diverse steel-framed buildings for handling equipment, maintenance and storage. It was designed to provide a visually pleasing as well as functional work place. The publication 'BHP 75 Years' said 'A tree-covered hillside provides an attractive background for surface buildings at Nebo colliery."

"The colliery bath house indicates one effect of 20th century legislation aimed to improve miners' working conditions. In earlier times the men simply emerged from the coalface and travelled home dirty. Here at Nebo the bath house is one of a suite of brick surface structures conceived as an architectural whole" (Irving 2001, pp 85).

Recommended management:

Interpretation of significance is recommended.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWollongong LEP 2009710426 Feb 10 2010-76 
Heritage study     
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Review of heritage items in Wollongong LGA20137104Zoran PopovicZoran Popovic Yes
Strategic Management Plan for Historic Coal Mining Sites of the Illawarra2005 O.H.M. ConsultantsM Landau & D McBeath No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAusIMMHC2005Nebo Colliery
WrittenR Irving2005Twentieth Century Architecture in Wollongong

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 5062596


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