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Boiler explosion at Moonta Mines
Title : Boiler explosion at Moonta Mines Boiler explosion at Moonta Mines
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Creator : Duryea, Edwin, photographer
Source : B 12617
Date of creation : ca. 1884
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 145 x 96 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

Result of boiler explosion at Beddomes engine house, Moonta Mines. The shell of the boiler was carried a considerable distance before landing on a miner's cottage.

Moonta was predominantly settled by Cornish miners and their families. The Moonta-Wallaroo copper mining field was the longest lived in the state, with 64 years of continuous production. The mines closed in 1923.

At the peak of its mining productivity, Moonta was the second largest town in South Australia.

The initially separate Wallaroo Mining & Smelting Company and Moonta Mining Company merged in 1889. The mines at Kadina (Wallaroo Mines) and Moonta, served by a smelter and port at Wallaroo, constituted the colloquially known 'Copper Triangle'. Between 1867 and 1872, approximately 300 000 tons of 'low grade' (10-15%) ore were backloaded to Hunter River Smelting Works, New South Wales, on ships bringing coal to the Wallaroo boilers. The Wallaroo Smelter also treated custom ores (not just copper) from elsewhere in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Broken Hill. Acid produced from smelter gas spawned a superphosphate industry. (Copper mining and treatment in South Australia, PIRSA).

Coverage year : 1884
Period : 1852-1883
Place : Moonta/Moonta Bay
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :
Austin, John Baptist. The mines of South Australia; including also an account of the smelting works in that colony, together with a brief description of the country and incidents of travel in the bush Adelaide: C. Platts, E. S. Wigg, G. Dehane, J.Howell, W. C. Rigby, G. Mullett, 1863.

Brown, Henry. The copper industry of South Australia: an economic study Adelaide: H. Brown, 1960.

Drexel, J.F. Mining in South Australia: a pictorial history Adelaide: South Australian Dept. of Mines & Energy, 1982.

Faull, Jim. Cornish heritage: a miner's story Highbury, J.F. Faull, 1980.

Johns, R. K. Cornish mining heritage Adelaide: Dept. of Mines & Energy, South Australia, 1986.

The Wallaroo and Moonta mines: their history, nature and methods, together with an account of the concentrating and smelting operations. Adelaide: Gillingham Printers, 1980.

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