History & Heritage

April 2019
From the archives: The standards we inherit (1968)
This is an edited excerpt of a presidential address that was delivered at AusIMM's 1968 Annual Meeting, held in the Public Lecture Theatre at the University of Melbourne At last year’s annual meeting of the Institute, Sir George Fisher, as President, compared it somewhat nostalgically to a meeting of its kind in the 1920s when comment was expressed on the decline of Australian mining and on the lack of new mineral discoveries.  I feel that tonight’s annual meeting is even more an Read More
February 2019
The Blinman Heritage Mine
The story of a 19th century mine and its legacy in the small township of Blinman, South Australia The Blinman Heritage Mine is located in Blinman in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, some 500 kilometres north of Adelaide. The town of Blinman is situated on the Blinman Diapir. The diapir covers an area of approximately 44 square kilometres and consists of a mass of brecciated and crumpled sedimentary rock, believed to be of the Proterozoic Willouran era, which is intruded into Read More
Commemorating the discovery of coal in Australia
A new plaque commemorating the discovery of coal was unveiled late last year by the Lord Mayor of Wollongong on behalf of the AusIMM Illawarra Branch. Coal was discovered in the Illawarra in May 1797 when shipwrecked sailors walked from southern Victoria along the coastline to reach Port Jackson in Sydney. They found coal on the shore between Austinmer and Coalcliff and burned lumps of coal to keep warm while they slept that night. This was the first discovery of coal to be reported to Read More
December 2018
The King Battery site, near Kalgoorlie/Kambalda, WA
The so-called King Battery site is located 47km SSE of Kalgoorlie, WA. It is located on Woolibar (originally called Wollubar) Station and is accessed from a track which leads off the eastern side of the Kalgoorlie-Kambalda Road, approximately 45 km south of Kalgoorlie/Boulder. Its heritage significance is due to the rarity of the remains of its gold treatment plant, dating from the early 1900s. Heritage Status of site The site was listed as a Permanent Entry on the Register of Read More
August 2018
One hundred years of Australian copper smelting 1917-2017
The year 1917 was a watershed for Australian copper mining and particularly for copper smelting. Prior to this time many copper mines were equipped with an on-site smelter, into which high-grade copper ore or a gravity copper concentrate were fed to produce a copper matte (with 40 per cent copper) for subsequent converting to blister copper (99 per cent copper) and refining at centralised copper refineries in Australia or overseas. During the early 1900s several on-site smelters were Read More
February 2018
From the archives: What is the matter with Australian mining? (1919)
The following article is an edited excerpt from the Proceedings of the AusIMM No 36, originally published in 1919 There are certain facts that the mining industry in Australia is faced with at the present moment which may be accepted as axioms: The industry is at a low ebb, as evidenced by statistics. Metals form the basis of all modern industries, and are necessary for the welfare of Australia. Mining is a wasting asset. Every ton of ore extracted is one ton less which cannot Read More