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About the Treasures Wall

Abalone shell

  • Abalone is a marine mollusc with a bowl-like mother-of-pearl lined shell.
  • The meat of the mollusc is eaten and the shell used to produce decorative objects.
  • Abalone is found in greatest numbers in South Australia off the western coast of the Eyre Peninsula at depths of 12 to 30 metres.
  • There are two varieties of abalone caught in South Australia-the greenlip and the blacklip.

Primary Industries and Resources SA: Aquaculture and fisheries-Marine fishing-Abalone


  • Bluestone is a term that describes a sedimentary rock, usually siltstone, used for building and paving. It has a distinctive blue/grey colour.
  • Most South Australian bluestone now comes from Kanmantoo and Wistow.
  • Bluestone was a popular construction material in the late nineteenth century South Australia and it became characteristic feature of the public, commercial and domestic buildings of the time.

Primary Industries and Resources SA-Dimension stone-Bluestone

Cattle hide

  • Cattle hide is chemically treated to be cleaned, to arrest decay, spoiling and shrinkage and to preserve its natural colour and patterns or to be dyed for the desired effect. This process is known as tanning.
  • The process consists of several stages including curing, treatment with enzymes to smooth the skin, tanning with minerals or tannin and stretching and rolling.
  • The tanning industry was established in South Australia by the 1840s.
  • In the early years of the industry Australian native trees, such as wattle, provided the tannin for the process.


  • Coal is mostly composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
  • It is formed by the build up and disintegration of plant-derived organic remains.
  • The decomposition of plant material and the accompanying biochemical reactions results in the creation of peat which when exposed to heat and pressure becomes coal over time.
  • The main uses of coal are as a fuel for the generation of electricity and for the production of coke, which is used in steel and iron manufacturing.
  • Coal was first discovered in South Australia in 1885 near Pidinga in the State's west and subsequently found throughout the State.
    Coal is now mined at Leigh Creek in northern South Australia and primary used locally for electricity production.

Primary Industries and Resources SA


  • Copper is a highly conductive (of both electricity and heat) metal which is used extensively in the electrical industry to make wire and cable and also in the car manufacturing, construction and information technology industries.
  • Copper can be found in its natural state but is chiefly mined as the primary sulphide chalcopyrite.
  • Copper is resistant to corrosion and can form alloys with other materials such as tin and zinc (to form bronze) and zinc (to form brass).
  • The discovery of copper deposits in South Australia contributed to the early economic development of the State. These initial discoveries were made at Kapunda (1842), Burra (1845), Kanmantoo-Callington (1846), Wallaroo (1859) and Moonta (1861).
  • Wallaroo, Moonta and Kadina are now known as the 'Copper Triangle'.
  • Cornish miners migrated to Australia to work on the copper mines in this area and their traditions added to the social and cultural history of the State.

Primary Industries and Resources SA

Green glass

  • Glass is a hard and brittle substance, usually translucent, formed by the fusion of silica and basic oxides.
  • It is formed by the heating of crushed recycled glass, soda ash, limestone, sand and other raw materials to over 2000 C to form a liquid.This is molten glass. The glass is then shaped into whatever form is appropriate for its use.
  • Glass is a versatile material used to make many products such as windows, television screens, bottles and jars, drinking vessels, spectacles and sunglasses and ornamental pieces.
  • Green glass, particularly, is produced in South Australia to supply bottles to the State's large wine industry.
  • Australia's first plant dedicated to the production of wine bottles only is located at Gawler, near the Barossa Valley, South Australia's largest wine producing region.

Glass On Web


  • Gold is a soft, malleable and heavy metal which occurs naturally in gleaming yellow seams.
  • It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and is corrosion resistant.
  • Gold has been used throughout history as a form of currency because of its scarcity and durability.
  • Its rarity and colour have also made it prized for jewellery.
  • Gold was first mined in South Australia in 1846 at the Victoria mine north east of Adelaide and many gold mines were later established throughout the State.

Primary Industries and Resources SA



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