In the early 1860s the coal mine was opened by the Sydney Melbourne Land and Coal Company. The main tunnel was dug horizontally into the coal seam which can be seen clearly at the base of the cliff. The tunnel is 1.4km in length and branches into 6 sub-drives. The coal seam was approximately 1m thick but of poor quality. The access to the mine was quite difficult so coal was hoisted in skips by an unusual cantilevered headstock on top of the cliff and directly above the mine entrance. From there it was hauled up an incline to a private narrow gauge railway and thence to the standard gauge main line from Moss Vale to Goulburn.From 1872 to 1881 the mine was closed until the Baker brothers reopened it and called Erith after their birthplace in Kent, England. They signed a contract in 1882 with the railway authorities to supply 6000 tonnes per year. The daily output at that time was about 80 tonnes and the poor quality coal was only used for freight engines. About 24 miners were employed at this time. Later in 1888 the mine closed after a state wide coal strike.Ten years later a new start was made and about 4000 tonnes of coal was supplied to the railways. By 1915 the mine had finally closed and the private railway to the mine had been removed.
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