History & Heritage

October 2019
Modern tin mining and processing at Melaleuca, Port Davey, Tasmania
A unique story of a small-scale mining operation in the remote reaches of South West Tasmania  The first recorded discovery of alluvial tin (cassiterite) in South West Tasmania was near Point Eric, Cox Bight in 1891. In 1935, cassiterite was discovered on the Melaleuca plain (near Port Davey) and the deposits were exploited by a succession of small-scale operations. In 1941, the lease was purchased by Charles King who worked the deposit alone until 1945 when he was joined by his Read More
August 2019
Early history of the minerals industry in Tasmania
This is an edited excerpt of a presidential address that was delivered at AusIMM’s 1958 Annual Conference, held in Hobart It is a very great privilege for me to be able to address you tonight and I am deeply sensible of the honour which has been done me. I am equally sensible of the inadequacy of my training for the position of President of your Institute.  May I say at once, what a very great pleasure it is to have so many members from the mainland states visiting us here in Read More
June 2019
A century of zinc production
This article is an excerpt of an ebook titled 'A century of zinc production in Australia', which is available to download for free here. Australia has been in the business of producing zinc for well over one hundred years and for many of those years has been the world’s largest source of zinc. It has also been a dominant player in zinc smelting and in the development of zinc smelting technology. However, as in many other areas of endeavour, today’s dominance of world production of Read More
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