Change District


Northern Mining & NSW Energy

NSW South Western




Western Australia


Russell Vale closure a sad day for workers and community

February 26, 2024

Wollongong Coal’s decision to close the Russell Vale Colliery is a sad day for the workforce and the South Coast coal industry.

South Western District Secretary Andy Davey said union representatives had met workers on site and would continue to support members to ensure they received full entitlements.

“We understand the regulator has to do its job enforcing the safe operation of coal mines, leading to this decision by Jindal Steel and Power,” said Mr Davey.

“It’s a sad day for the region because of the long history of coal mining at Russell Vale. It’s always difficult to lose so many local jobs, with the flow-on effect to families and community.

In response to a series of underground fires, the New South Wales Resources Regulator placed a prohibition order on Russell Vale on January 18th. This stopped work at the mine until February 6th, when Wollongong Coal Parent company Jindal Steel and Power announced the closure.

Russell Vale is one of the oldest coal mines in New South Wales, operating since 1887. The closure has also applied to the nearby Wongawilli Colliery, which was brought out of care and maintenance in 2022.

The closure of the sites has left over 200 mineworkers without jobs, putting additional pressure on working families and communities at a time of high cost of living.

“We have a thriving local coal industry and we are confident some of these experienced workers will pick up work locally. However we are already aware of some workers looking at moving interstate.”

Mr Davey said the leases for Russell Vale and Wongawilli mines should be taken over by a new operator rather than being permanently closed.

“We will be seeking discussions with the NSW government at the earliest opportunity to urge a solution for these coal mines that will keep them open.

“The Bulli and Wongawilli coal seams produce some of the world’s best metallurgical coal for steel-making. We’d like to see these leases handed over to an operator who can run these mines efficiently and safely.”

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