Story: Coal and coal mining

Underground and opencast mining, 1878–2003

This graph shows the remarkable increase in opencast mining in the 50 years after the Second World War. By the 2000s only about 20% of New Zealand’s annual coal production came from underground mines. The last underground mine closed in 2017.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

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Source: Annual production reports, Mines Department, Ministry of Energy, Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development.

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How to cite this page:

Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, 'Coal and coal mining - The miners’ work', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 11 December 2023)

Story by Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 14 Apr 2021