DSI Preserves History: Stabilization of Historic State Coal Mine in Australia
At the start of the 20th century, the Australian region of Victoria was completely dependent on coal supplies from other regions. Since the colony had no coal production of its own, high prices and disruptions to supply were a recurring problem. When Victoria was cut off completely from its coal supply as a result of a strike in New South Wales in 1909, the decision was made to open Wonthaggi State Coal Mine, at approximately 150km from Melbourne.
During its 59 years of existence, the colliery delivered more than 17 million tons of coal that were used for the railway, several power plants and for industrial and domestic purposes. Since the demand for coal strongly decreased once diesel locomotives were introduced, the mine was closed in 1968. Another reason for closing the colliery was the fact that it no longer complied with safety regulations. In fact, during its operational life, the mine was considered to be one of the biggest and most dangerous mines in Australia.
Recently, the government of Victoria decided to reopen the mine as a museum. In order to guarantee the safety of the visitors, the old mine had to be extensively stabilized. As an expert for mining products, DSI Australia was awarded a contract to supply the complete range of strata control products such as cable bolts, plates, grout, drill rods and accessories. Two experienced DSI employees were on site to guide and supervise the installation process.
Volunteers, including former miners, were expertly trained by DSI’s employees. Thus, the roof bolts necessary for stabilization could be installed quickly and easily using a hand held roof bolter and a drill rig that had also been supplied by DSI Australia.
The comprehensive stabilization works at Wonthaggi State Mine are to be finished in time for its 100th opening anniversary.