Coal has been mined in Waikato since the 1870s. It is mostly sub-bituminous ‘brown’ coal, which is regarded as less valuable than the bituminous coking coal from the West Coast. Production increased steadily from the 1880s until 1960, fluctuating over the next 40 years in response to market demand. The big increase since 2000 reflects demand from the nearby Huntly thermal power station.
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Source: Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives; Ministry for Economic Development. Statistics compiled by Simon Nathan