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
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
The treasures of the Shire of Etheridge, North Queensland
The Etheridge Shire Council in North Queensland has decided to prepare and lodge a nomination for a UNESCO Global Geopark over an area of some 40 000 km2. The nomination, which is to be known at this stage as the ‘Pre-Aspiring Etheridge Global Geopark’, embraces the Etheridge Province of the North Australian Craton, which contains rocks of both Proterozoic and Paleozoic age. In addition, rocks of the Forsayth Subprovince host important gold mineralisation that includes the Etheridge Gold Read More
December 2015
From the archives: Mining towns (1975)
This paper is an extract from the AusIMM 1975 Broken Hill Student Conference. Members can download the full paper via the AusIMM website. In recent years there have been a number of excellent towns built for mining communities in remote parts of Australia. Planning has been thorough, and very large capital expenditures have been made by companies to provide high standards of accommodation, services and amenities. But so often the phrase ‘company town’ comes to be applied, expressing the Read More
From the archives: School of Mines – Past Present and Future (2002)
The schools of mines in Australia, and the rest of the world have been catalysts for the formal education of geology, mining and metallurgy professionals. The German Freiburg School of Mines was established in 1702 followed by other institutions in France, Spain, Russia, Sweden and England. Schools of mines opened in the United States during the late nineteenth century either within existing universities or as separate institutions. In Australia, Ballarat and Bendigo gained their schools Read More
October 2015
From the archives: The development of computer-assisted mapping and modelling (1983)
This paper is an extract from the 1983 Computers in Mining Symposium hosted by the AusIMM Southern Queensland Branch. With the advent of computer-aided mapping and surface modelling techniques, geologists and engineers have had to become familiar with the capabilities and limitations of these systems to effectively use them. In this paper we will trace a short history of the rather rapid progress in this area. From this historical perspective we will make some observations and use these to Read More