Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Black Diamonds under Ipswich

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Black Diamonds under Ipswich

Article excerpt


with Beryl Johnston

BETWEEN 1865 and 1866, the Cuffe Bros opened a coal mine at North Ipswich.

The seam of coal which they worked was two metres thick and good quality. Access was obtained to the mine by a shaft more than 20m deep, and the coal was raised by buckets with a windlass.

During 1866, an advertisement appeared, which read: "Cuffe Brothers are now prepared to supply screened house coal at 17 shillings a ton; smiths' coal at 15 shillings a ton, delivered free in any part of north or south Ipswich. Orders received by Mr W Carter, bookseller and stationer, Brisbane Street, Ipswich."

The Cuffes' coal-pits were situated on what later became known as the Liverpool Estate, but later on, operations were suspended owing to financial problems which occurred all over Queensland during the latter part of 1866.


IN SEPTEMBER 1885, the Waterstown Coal and Coke Co established consisting of GK Moffatt, F Raymond, John Johnson (manager) and J Jones.

It was thought this newly formed company was among the principal agencies to bring the geological formation of the "north side" into public notice. The promoters were fully convinced there was coal in abundance on the old Waterston Estate, and were committed towards its recovery.

It was estimated there were more than 200ha of coal land in the area. When the mining arrangements were in full swing, coke-making would commence.

Also in the area was the Waterstown Brick and Tile Company. This was turning out about 13,000 bricks a day.


THE year 1887 opened with splendid prospects in the Ipswich and district coal industry. In that year, the Ipswich Coal and Coke Company under the management of Mr W Harris "blossomed forth".

A sample block of two tons of clean coal - 4ft 4 ins in length; 3ft 6ins in breadth and 2ft 3ins in depth, was sawn out from a seam 15ft in depth and this was forwarded to Melbourne for exhibition to show the capabilities of the Ipswich district as a coal producer. …

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