Too much haste, not enough prospecting: Mount Garnet Mine and Smelters, North Queensland

Wegner, Janice (2016) Too much haste, not enough prospecting: Mount Garnet Mine and Smelters, North Queensland. Journal of Australasian Mining History, 14. pp. 99-115.

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Abstract

Mining methods by base metal companies in the late 19th -early 20th century in Queensland were often governed more by stock market expectations than practicalities. Copper mining companies knew that rich surface deposits did not necessarily live down, and should therefore be prospected reasonably well before going to the expense of constructing railways and smelters. However, they instead played to the stock market by installing such expensive items at the expense of mine prospecting and development, which were largely funded out of profits. Mt Garnet is a particularly clear example of the practice. This copper, silver and lead mine was floated into a company which put most of its working capital into surface plant on a grand scale, with mine prospecting neglected and development kept just ahead of production. After only three years the consequences caught up with the company, with the deeper ore notably poorer in copper and worse, with an increasing proportion of zinc. The enterprise failed completely.

Item ID: 47006
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-4471
Keywords: mining history; North Queensland
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 00:27
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 100%
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