Mining Heritage

Jun 17, 2020
A mining ghost town writ large in living memory

A mining ghost town writ large in living memory

A recently published ‘biography’ of the North West Queensland uranium mining centre of Mary Kathleen has breathed new life into what is now a ghost town. ‘Mary Kathleen Reflections’ is written by retired geologist Andrew Cuthbertson whose first days in the mining industry in 1981 were among the last for the on-again, off-again operation.   Geologist and author Andrew C...

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Mar 16, 2020
Old-timer on show as port development pushes ahead

Old-timer on show as port development pushes ahead

A D6 dozer, dating back to 1947, has found new digs at the East Shore 1B precinct at Port of Gladstone in a nod to the site’s industrial history. The dozer will be on permanent display at the precinct and has been refurbished to replicate the bulldozers that were used at the Auckland Point Coal Terminal during the 1950s. Gladstone Ports Corporation acting chief executive officer Craig Walk...

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Apr 22, 2019
Old MacDonald had a film, years and years ago

Old MacDonald had a film, years and years ago

To say that mining entrepreneur Alexander MacDonald lived an interesting life would be one of the great understatements. As Townsville-based historian Colin Hooper reveals, MacDonald was involved in mining and filmmaking, and quite a bit in between. “My interest in Alexander MacDonald was piqued by being told in Chillagoe in the 1980s about the world premiere of an Australian film which was...

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Apr 13, 2019
Towers mining model a window to another era

Towers mining model a window to another era

It is a unique insight to the ground beneath the gold city of Charters Towers, passed down from an era before computer modelling. A 1930s plate glass model of the ore bodies and workings of the area has been taken out of storage and is set to be restored to its former glory. The broken model consists of a box with slots for sheets of glass carrying fine markings to build a layered 3D pictur...

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Aug 27, 2018
Closing in on Cannington Mark 2

Closing in on Cannington Mark 2

There’s another mighty base metals find-to-be in north west Queensland and Minotaur Exploration’s Andrew Woskett reckons he’s just the man to find it. Not that he’d say it like that. Mr Woskett is humble before the science.  But what he reads in the core samples and what’s being revealed by new geophysical exploration techniques brings a prospectors glint to the eye of this otherwise fastidious ju...

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Jun 16, 2018
‘Forgotten’ father of NQ mining

‘Forgotten’ father of NQ mining

John Moffat is sometimes referred to as the “father of Irvinebank”, yet very few people would know of him and the enormous contribution he made to north Queensland and its mining industry. Queensland historian Ruth Kerr long ago recognised Moffat’s role in NQ history and has done much to keep his name alive. John Moffat. Dr Kerr’s book, John Moffat of Irvinebank: a biography of a regional entrepre...

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Oct 05, 2017
Big birthday bash for Blackwater coal mine

Big birthday bash for Blackwater coal mine

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is celebrating 50 years of operations at Blackwater Mine, marking the milestone with a free community event at Blackwater Crushers Rugby League Fields on Saturday, October 7. The mine was established by the Utah Development Company, following the discovery of a coal deposit about 20km south of the township of Blackwater in 1962. The operation was originally m...

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Oct 03, 2017
Golden milestone for alumina giant

Golden milestone for alumina giant

A processing business dubbed ‘the giant that never sleeps’ celebrates 50 years of operation in 2017. Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) opened in Gladstone in 1967, with the first shipment of alumina sailing from the wharf on June 9. An international consortium of Alcan Aluminium, Conzinc Rio Tinto (CRA), Pechiney and Kaiser Aluminium and Chemical Corporation was behind its establishment. The QAL ...

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Jul 16, 2017
A pioneer in open-cut coal mining

A pioneer in open-cut coal mining

Blair Athol coal mine is poised to enter a new chapter under its latest owners, TerraCom subsidiary Orion Mining. But its story has some age and the operation has a claim to fame as the first mine in Australia to adopt open-cut methods. The region’s coal was discovered by accident in 1864 on Robert McMaster’s grazing run, Blair Athol, says Clermont Historical Centre co-ordinator Deb Alvoen of Isaa...

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