Story: Coal and coal mining

Aerial photo of Island Block (2nd of 2)

Aerial photo of Island Block

Island Block is an isolated patch of coal measures on the ridge between Garvey Creek and the Waitahu River. It was discovered in 1944 by geologist Harold Wellman, who predicted that bituminous coal might be found there based on his regional studies of coal rank. A thick seam contains over 15 metres of high-quality bituminous coal, and it is mined by opencast methods. This photograph was taken in 1977. The mine has not been worked since 2002.

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GNS Science
Reference: CN699a
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, 'Coal and coal mining - Coal resources', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 January 2022)

Story by Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 14 Apr 2021, updated 1 Sep 2016