Newcastle is located on the east coast of Australia in the state of New South Wales (NSW). Coal mining began in the early 19th centrury, and from the 1850s encouraged the development of pit-top towns gathered around an increasingly busy river port. Coal mining shifted west into the Hunter Valley where there are still vast amounts of open pit coal production. Mining also encouraged industrial development in engineering, transport and, from 1915, iron and steel production. Deindustrialization in Newcastle dates from the mid-1970s and plant closures accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s as the steel works and other related manufacturing industries closed down.