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Wallaroo mine buildings and shafts
Title : Wallaroo mine buildings and shafts Wallaroo mine buildings and shafts
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Source : PRG 280/1/4/63
Date of creation : ca. 1910
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Close view of Wallaroo mine buildings and shafts.

Copper was discovered in 1859 by James Boor, a shepherd working for Walter Watson Hughes on his sheep run Wallaroo on Yorke Peninsula. Two years later copper was found at nearby Moonta.

The mine at Wallaroo developed quickly and, with copper selling for 115 pounds a ton, was very prosperous. Hughes established smelting works on the nearby coast and the town of Wallaroo was proclaimed in 1861. Up to 1889 the value of ores sold from the Wallaroo mines was nearly 2.25 million pounds.

Then in 1889 the mines at Moonta combined with the Wallaroo operations and the Wallaroo and Moonta Mining and Smelting Company was created. The manager of this extended company was Henry Lipson Hancock. By 1905 the company employed over 2,200 people and this boom period continued until World War I when the price of copper dropped significantly. By 1923 several years of losses had been made and the shareholders decided to wind up the company. Ore production from the two mines in the period 1859 to 1923 was 6.5 million tons, producing 330,000 tons of copper valued at over 20 million pounds.

The shareholders decided that most of the mines' equipment should be sold off to recoup some further profits. The huge mining structures disappeared from the landscape, with only a few tumbled ruins remaining.

This photograph shows only a portion of the Wallaroo site: the Office shaft poppet head stands to the right with the winding engine house the white building behind it.

Coverage year : 1910
Place : Wallaroo
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :

Bailey, Keith The Wallaroo mine, Kadina, South Australia (1860-1923): a pictorial history Adelaide: National Trust of South Australia, 1985

Bailey, Keith James Boor's bonanza: a history of Wallaroo Mines, South Australia [Kadina, S. Aust.]: H.K. Bailey, c2002

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