June is a historic month for mining in the Goldfields region of Western Australia and locally operating gold joint venture, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM).
This month marks the pouring of the 60 millionth ounce of gold from WA’s Golden Mile. It is also a significant moment for KCGM, with 20 million ounces of gold having been produced by the company since 1989.
KCGM general manager Ian Butler said the Golden Mile has a fascinating history, with an abundance of colourful mining characters, and even more colourful yarns.
“I am extremely proud to be associated with KCGM as we pour this historically significant ounce,” Butler said.
“It was over 114 years ago that the area produced its record of 1,225,700 ounces from a grade of 34.4 grams per tonne (gpt) in 1903.
In 2016, production was 764,000 ounces with an average mined grade of 1.92gpt and average head grade of 2.19gpt.”
The Kalgoorlie-Boulder mining area was born during a period of Australia-wide depression and has been one of the few mining districts in the world to be worked continuously for more than 124 years.
The original location of the Golden Mile in 1897 was from Hannan’s Brownhill, Paringa, North Kalgurli and Brookmans Boulder at the north end through to Lake View South, Boulder Main Reef and Chaffers at the south end.
Over time it was extended to also include Croesus (Kallaroo) at the north through to the Imperial and Hannan’s Star at the south. This equates to a distance of about 3.8km – more than two miles.
Although not technically part of the Golden Mile, Mount Charlotte also has been entwined with Australia’s most prolific gold district.
The Golden Mile, formerly home to more than 80 underground gold mines, is now jointly owned by Newmont Australia and Barrick Gold, and operated by KCGM.
The area includes the open cut Super Pit, which is also now an important tourist attraction for visitors to the region, along with Mt Charlotte’s underground operation to the north.