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Wednesday, 13 May 1942

Early in 1941 the Australian Iron and Steel Company Limited commenced purchasing coal from Newcastle mines. This company uses about 18,000 tons per week and its reserve stock position was then very bad - about 44,000 tons. For some time 7,000 tons weekly was railed from Newcastle to Port Kembla, and at the present time about 4,500 tons are sent by rail per week. Collier tonnage is not available to transport the coal by sea, and the coal is mainly used at the steel works for steamraising purposes, thus relieving larger quantities of southern coal to be used for coke making.

2.   As a consequence of these weekly deliveries stocks at the company's works at Port Kembla have improved considerably, and are now 130,000 tons, or nearly seven weeks' supplies.

3.   I may say that this commission has purposely encouraged the building up of these stocks at Port Kembla for two reasons. Firstly because it is essential that an undertaking of this kind should have ample reserves during the war period, and secondly, because the arrangements made operated to keep many small mines in production in the north who are producing a class of coal which is suitable for steam-raising purposes at Port Kembla, but are not suitable for interstate use.

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