Loudoun Weir project preserves QLD tin mining history

weir

A heritage-listed piece of Australia’s tin mining history has been preserved through a $95,000 Queensland Department of Resources project.

Since late 2020, local contractors have been repairing the 135-year-old Loudoun Weir at Irvinebank on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland with works completed this week.

The original timber Loudoun Weir was built in 1885 as part of the Vulcan tin mine complex, with the mill and treatment works on its foreshore.

The Queensland Government upgraded the weir to concrete in 2006, but retained the original timber in the weir’s façade.

The first leak was spotted in a 2017 routine inspection and an incoming water entry point was sealed off as a temporary measure.

The permanent seal job started in December 2020 with a significant void found in the weir wall.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the finished product was a great example of his department’s often-unseen work protecting the state’s heritage.

“The first European tin, copper and gold discoveries in the 19th century have left Queensland towns like Irvinebank, Gympie and Charters Towers with a lasting historical tourism legacy,” he said.

“Thanks to decades of advances in environmental and engineering science, we can now maintain that legacy and keep the surrounding communities and natural environment safe.”

Irvinebank Progress Association president Robyne Perkes said the department’s work was “a godsend”.

“It has saved our dam, which is a significant part of the history of our town and plays a big role in tourism for us,” she said.

“John Moffat built that dam to start the Loudoun Mill and Irvinebank itself.

“The town is very appreciative of the work that was done to seal the dam again and also retain the heritage value of the timber logs in the dam wall.

“We are really happy with the work of the department, and the whole town thanks them for maintaining such an important part of our community.”

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