History & Heritage

December 2018
The King Battery site, South of Kalgoorlie, WA
The King Battery site is 47 km south-south-east of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (WA) on Woolibar (originally Wollubar) Station. It is accessed from a track off the eastern side of the Kalgoorlie-Kambalda Road, approximately 45 km south of Kalgoorlie/Boulder. King Battery has strong links with Ernest Lidgey, an early President of the Australasian Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME, now AusIMM). Heritage status of the site The site’s heritage significance and importance is due to the 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
Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve, Blackstone, Queensland
Bypassed by the nearby Cunningham Highway and 5 km removed from the central business district of Ipswich, the suburb of Blackstone in Queensland today reveals little of its past industrial significance for the Queensland coal mining industry. But the topographic landmark of the suburb, now known as Castle Hill, hides evidence of an industrial and social heritage that is being showcased through the development of a new multi-use heritage park – the Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve (Figure Read More
Virtual tour of Illawarra’s industrial history
A virtual tour allows people to visit historical industrial and mine sites on the south coast of NSW via www.illawarra-heritage-trail.com.au. The tour sites available include the Bulli Miners Cottage, the Bulli Mine memorial commemorating an underground explosion in 1887 that killed 81 men and boys, Corrimal and Coal Cliff Cokeworks, Jetty Mine and Coal Cliff Colliery, Hicks Point Jetty, Mount Kembla Colliery where an explosion in 1902 killed 96 men and boys working underground, Dapto Read More
December 2016
From the archives: Professional idealism (1908)
The following Presidential Address is taken from the Proceedings of the AusIMM, 1909. It was originally delivered at the First Ordinary Meeting in Melbourne in 1908. I have to thank the members of the Institute most cordially for the honour conferred upon me in selecting me President, which position my poor services have prevented my filling adequately. I have, therefore, only been able to stumble through my year of office under the guiding direction of our esteemed Secretary. I fully Read More