100 Years of Manufacturing

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The Commonwealth Steel Company, part of the Molycop group, is a proud Australian company, which holds a prominent place in the nation’s and the region’s manufacturing history. Since 1918, the company’s remarkable story has been characterised by seizing opportunities, always innovating, and investing in its products and people. 

General Manager, Michael Parker said the company’s longevity and success was characterised by seizing opportunities, always innovating, and investing in its products and people.

“In the past century, the company has faced global economic turmoil, world war and constant process reinvention. But more than simply enduring these challenges, the business has grown stronger,” Michael said.

Over its history, the ownership of the company has evolved through mergers and acquisitions, culminating in the formation of the Molycop Group in 2011. Molycop’s Newcastle operations are fully integrated, from the processing of scrap metal in the electric arc furnace to the end products of Molycop grinding media and the Comsteel range of rail products.

The Commonwealth Steel Company was first formed in 1918 to address a threat to Australia’s railways – the backbone of the nation – by providing maintenance supplies during a time of global scarcity.

The company survived the Great Depression by moving to part-time operation to protect and hold together the workforce until they could be employed full-time again. The Commonwealth Steel Company was also an important provider of munitions and other supplies (including two million steel helmets) to support the allies in the World War II effort.

The company has employed and trained thousands of men and women from the Hunter Valley region. Parker said that for many generations of local families who walked through its gates, a job with the Commonwealth Steel Company was a job for life.

“Over a century of opportunity and adversity, the commitment, ability and skill of the work force has driven our business forward,” Parker said.

“Our workforce is the company’s greatest asset and the foundation for our success.”

A year of celebration has started with a special event dedicated to employees, clients and invited supporters.

The Commonwealth Steel Company Centenary Day commenced with an unveiling of a plaque and commemorative coin, followed by a barbecue and other refreshments. The day also includes an exhibition of images and artifacts from the company archives and tours provided by Newcastle’s Famous Tram.

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