State Library of South Australia logo Timeline
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

The Kapunda Copper Mine
Title : The Kapunda Copper Mine The Kapunda Copper Mine
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Angas, George French, 1822-1886, artist
Date of creation : ca. 1846
Additional Creator : Giles, J.W.
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 215 x 324 mm
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Plate 31: The Kapunda Copper Mine. Part of the text accompanying the illustration reads 'The annexed plate represents the Kapunda Copper Mine, as it appeared in March 1845; since that period the works have been greatly extended. Operations have been going on at this mine for a little more than two years ...'.

Copper was discovered at Kapunda in 1842, when pastoralists Francis Dutton and Charles Bagot found some 'moss-coloured' ore which was sent to England for analysis. The results came back that the ore was copper of very high grade. Dutton and his partner bought the land surrounding the copper outcrop.

Mining began in 1843, with Cornish miners and Welsh, Irish and German workers engaged in the industry. Initially miners used picks and shovels to dig for the copper; later Australia's first open cut mine was created. Kapunda became the site of Australia's first commercial copper mine. The discovery of this mineral was of great significance to South Australia, as the wealth generated helped to lift the colony from near bankruptcy. The main mine was closed in 1879 due to lower grade ore, lower copper prices, and rising water in the mines. Limited operations were commenced later and continued to 1912.

During 1844-1845 artist George French Angas travelled extensively in South Australia, recording his impressions of the colony.

Related names :

Angas, George French, 1822-1886

Giles, J.W.

Coverage year : 1846
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Kapunda (S. Aust.)
Internet links :
Clare Valley Tourism Region See: Kapunda

Postcards Online: Channel 9 Adelaide See: Kapunda - the copper town that saved South Australia



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on