Newcastle: Built on Coal

(5 votes)

When Lieutenant John Shortland chased a group of escapee convicts into Newcastle harbor, some two centuries ago, he did not expect to stumble upon untouched coal deposits. His discovery, back in 1797, has seen Newcastle evolve into one of the world’s largest coal export port.

Today the coal mining industry is a major source of economic and industrial growth – not just in Newcastle but in the whole of the Hunter Region. Thanks to an insatiable appetite from Asia a growing demand has seen mining quickly advance from the basic pick and hammer method to board and pillar and longwall mining.


Take a look at Old Newcastle here.

Located in the lower region of the resource rich Hunter Valley, Newcastle’s community is a mining-based one that extends beyond monetary means - and it has been since the beginning.

In February 2014, the Newcastle Knights football team launched its new hi-viz jersey as part of a two-year partnership with the NSW Minerals Council.

Newcatsle Knights player Tyrone Roberts

Newcastle Knights CEO Matt Gidley says the collaboration was a way the team could “show their support for the 12,000 mine workers and their families who live and work” in the region. With many current and former Knights players involved in the mining industry it seems like a no-brainer.

From its bustling port, Newcastle has driven a substantial amount of the NSW economy since the 1800s. While locally, Newcastle and the Hunter region are benefiting from the hundreds of millions of dollars created by mining activity “Amid the usual debates about mining it can be easy to forget the real people – the local miners, their families and those working in associated small businesses – that rely on mining to provide local jobs and deliver economic stability,” explains Stephen Galilee is the chief executive of the NSW Minerals Council.



In a survey initiated by the University of Newcastle and Lawrence Consulting, it was reported that 21 mining companies directly spent more than $4.6 billion in the Hunter, including a direct spending of around $850 million on wages, goods, services and community contributions in Newcastle alone.

But with the amount of attention given to mining “you could be forgiven for thinking that mines are engulfing NSW, but the reality is mining operations account for around 0.1per cent of the state’s land,’’ explains Mr Galilee. And it’s not all the second largest city in Australia has to offer.

As a coastal paradise with a subtropical climate, Newcastle offers laid-back surf culture sans the crowds and congestion. It’s a great place to visit and an even better place to stay. While the wine country of the Hunter Valley adds a touch of sophistication and culture to a town steeped in history. You only have to look to Nobbys Head, first spotted by Captain Cook in 1770.

Written By:



o BHP A$33.65 ▲0.09 (0.27%)
o Rio Tinto A$64.41 ▲0.71 (1.11%)
o Fortescue A$2.49 ▲0.01 (0.40%)
o Newcrest A$14.39 ▲0.46 (3.30%)


Company ID [ASX:BHP] Last trade:A$33.65 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▲0.09 (0.27%)

Rio Tinto

Company ID [ASX:RIO] Last trade:A$64.41 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▲0.71 (1.11%)


Company ID [ASX:FMG] Last trade:A$2.49 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▲0.01 (0.40%)


Company ID [ASX:NCM] Last trade:A$14.39 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▲0.46 (3.30%)


Minetalk Poll

Is the mining boom in Australia over?

Is the mining boom in Australia over?

No, it's just media hype.
Yes as a result of lower demand.
Still plenty of resources.
There will be a second boom.
1 Votes left

HomeNewsHave Your SayVideosPhotosDirectoryForumHelpLegalPrivacy PolicyContact Us |  © 2014 SM Media