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Lake View Consols mine (Lake View and Star), Golden Mile Mines, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire, Western Australia, Australia

Latitude: 30°40'S
Longitude: 121°28'E
The Lake View Consols Mine is the second oldest on the field, floated in 1895, just after the Great Boulder Mine. In its early years it mined only one lode, 15-20 feet across, of incredible richness. Its small land-holding however meant within fifteen years it had reached the lease boundary. Over the next three decades it expanded by acquiring neighbouring leases. These were properties where the plant machinery was nearing exhaution, and it incorporated these mines by processing the ore at its plant. Measurements are imperial in keeping with the historic references.

It was orginally floated as the Lake View and Boulder East Company. The Great Boulder Mine was on its western boundary. A 20 stamp battery was erected. In June 1896, the mine was 'handed over' to Lake View Consols Limited.

In its first two years it processed 6142 tonnes of ore per annum for 1700 ounces of gold. A new American mine manager was appointed, H.C. Callahan, who increased this to over 60 000 tonnes and 127 533 ounces of gold in 1898.

In 1898 the extraction process was as follows at the mine. The (now) 50 stamp battery crushed the ore, with the tailings going to a separator, where the slimes were carried off leaving behind coarser material. These were conveyed to the cyanide house where about 30 000 ounces of gold was extracted per annum. Meanwhile, the slimes ran into filter press rooms, and forced into the filter presses. The water exited through canvas bags, leaving the dried slime. This was treated with cyanide at high pressure rendering the gold particles soluable. It was then carried to the precipitation room where it was treated by the ordinary zinc process. This precipitated the gold into a dust which was smelted into bullion.

Soon after the mine installed the first oxidising plant in Western Australia. This also consisted of rock crushers, driers, Chilian mill, Krupp ball mills, Brown's straight line roasting furnaces and casting chambers. Ore was carried to the plant by an aerial tramway.

There was only one shaft at the mine called Main Shaft. In 1898, drives were at the 100, 200 and 300 feet level, with the richest ore found at 300 feet.

The mine manager at the time was American H.C. Callahan, metallurgist J. Sutherland, accountant H. Hawkins, underground manager Fred Morgan, and only the surname of Pratt is mentioned for the engineer.

The mine accessed two U shaped ore bodies. The northern section reached 300 feet but was barren under this. The southern section was irregular and funnel shaped, reaching 600 feet, and extending beyond the southern boundary of the lease.

Criticisms in the media about the mine started in 1898. Accusations were levelled that mine management had misled the public over the erection of the new battery, and the erratic nature of the old 20 stamp battery. Concerns were raised that outside visitors were not allowed to visit the mine, leading to rumours festering of its imminent demise. Employees were caught salting samples.

In 1901, it came to light that barren ground had been found below the 300 foot level. Letters by the chief engineer, G.W.W. McKinnon, to the company board had been leaked to the media. He accused mine manager Mr Hartmann, of falsifying ore reserves, and wasteful cost management practices. Neither appeared to be on speaking terms. The board dismissed McKinnon accusing him of colluding with share speculators to drive the share price down, although no proof of this was provided. They also were critical of the mine manager for 'gutting' the mine, and investing nothing in exploration. Having sacked the chief engineer they kept him employed for a short time, before in 1902 he was replaced as mine manager by London finance firm Berwick Moreing and Co. They called in independent experts who advised rich ore lay at depth. This ultimately proved correct.

The media was invited to inspect the mine later in 1902, to try and quell rumours and restore the share price. The underground workings were described in detail at this time:
Number One Level- drive length 2250 feet, large quantities of oxidised ore now exhausted.
Number two level- drive length 2250 feet, 11 000 tonnes of payable sulphide ore to be stoped out.
Number three level- drive length 2150 feet, a rich cigar shaped bonanza found here during H.C. Callahan's management.
Number four level- drive length 2000 feet, with 300 feet of payable ore, and 9000 tonnes of ore still intact.
Number five level- drive length 2550 feet, stoped only to 250 feet with poor ore grades.
Number six level- drive length 1300 feet, and stoped to 160 feet, with 60 000 tonnes of ore reserves.
Number seven level- drive length 1750 feet, with 200 feet of stoping, and 1500 tonnes of ore reserves.
Number eight level- drive length 600 feet with no payable ore.
Number nine level- at 1000 feet down from the surface, drive length 800 feet with no payable ore.
The property contained two leases of only 48 acres in total.

In 1910 the mine amalgamated with neighbouring Hannan's Star mine. The Hannan's Star Consolidated Company was wound up. This continued as a separate mine with the ore being processed at Lake View. From this time the property was known as Lake View and Star.

The mine suffered losses in 1917, due to high costs associated with the effects of World War One. It looked at the time the mine may close but continued. After this it appears to have produced profits and dividends each year for many decades as a stable and expanding operation.

By 1922 the neighbouring Chaffers lease was under its control, allowing it to continue mining its southerly ore body. In 1927, it had taken over the Golden Horseshoe lease for the same purpose. New Consolidated Goldfields Limited in 1928 provided capital to erect a new processing plant on Chaffers lease. In 1931 this was erected and included a Symons cone crusher, weightometer, automatic sampler, 3 Pahrenwold flotation machines, lube mills and classifiers. The old Chaffer shaft was repaired and extended.

In 1924 it purchased the Ivanhoe Mine on the Golden Mile. Part of the deal saw Ivanhoe contribute capital to expand the Lake View mill, with the Ivanhoe Company going into liquidation. In 1933 Lake View made an unsuccessful attempt to purchase neighbouring Great Boulder Mine. In 1935 it purchased the Associated Mine's tailing dumps for re-processing, and did the same to North Kalgurli Mines dumps in 1937. In 1940 it purchased the Lakeview South Extended leases which adjoined its property. In the same year it purchased the Imperial leases at the south end of the Golden Mile, containing the Idaho and Aberdare mines. It then purchased the Associated mine

By 1940 the company owned former producers- Lakeview, Ivanhoe, Chaffers, Golden Horseshoe, Hannan's Star, Idaho, Aberdare, Lakeview South Extended and Associated mines.

In the 1950's it was processing around 40-50 000 tonnes of ore per month for 9-11 000 ounces of gold.

Mining continued into the 1960's but with increasing difficulty as the gold price plummeted. By the end of the decade gold prices were very depressed while nickel prices were booming. In 1971 the company was taken over by Poseidon Limited, a nickel company riding the boom after a discovery at Windarra near Laverton. Its shares rose from 80c to $280, so was in a financial position to purchase Lake View and Star. However nickel prices and its shares then plummeted, while its new Windarra mine saw lower grade nickel than predicted. It and therefore Lake View mine was taken over by Western Mining Corporation in 1976. The last two operating mines on the Golden Mile merged in 1973, and in 1976 no mining was taking place on the field. Western Mining's subsidiary operating Lakeview was Kalgoorlie Mining Associates which announced an 8 million investment in March 1976 to re-open the mine. Gold prices continued to fall and it is unclear if any mining took place, although Western Mining was operating an open pit next door at the Great Boulder Mine in the 1980's. In the late 80's the mine was sold to Alan Bond who was trying to consolidate all the Golden Mile leases. It was the last to hold out on selling and went for $375 million. It is now incorporated into the Superpit as of 1989.

A new species called tivanite was discovered at the mine in 1977 by E.H. Nickel. This consisted of one grain in one specimen, and despite an active search no more was found. The grain consists of clusters of irregular crystallites in various twin relationships, and separated from each other by intrusive quartz veins. The crystals are black with a sub-metallic lustre. The specimen was found in a rock called 'green leader' composed of sericitic muscovite which gives it the green colour, nolanite, tomichite, carbonates and pyrite. These types of rock along the Golden Mile were known for their high gold values.

Mineral List

Albite
Ankerite
Chamosite
'Chlorite Group'
Gold
Magnetite
Muscovite
var: Sericite
Nolanite
Pyrite
Quartz
var: Rock Crystal
Rutile
'Speculite'
Tivanite (TL)
Tomichite


16 entries listed. 12 valid minerals. 1 type locality (valid mineral).

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

Ref.: (in part): Dana 7:I:335.

Grey, I.E., Nickel, E.H.(1981):Tivanite a New Oxhydroxide Mineral from Western Australia and its Structural Relationship to Rutile and Diaspore, American Mineralogist (1981): 66: 866-871

Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1940): Lake View and Star (15 Jan 1940)

The Chronicle newspaper (Adelaide) (1928): Lake View and Star
(30 Jun 1928)

The Daily News newspaper (Perth) (1922): Lake View and Star
(03 Jan 1922)

The Register newspaper(Adelaide) (1924):Mining Notes.Lake View and Star (20 Jun 1924)

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper (1931):Lakeview and Star
(24 Oct 1931)

The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1951):Lakeview and Star
(12 Jul 1951)

The Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1928):Lakeview and Star (26 Oct 1928)

The Courier Mail newspaper (Brisbane) (1937):Lakeview and Star
(12 Jun 1937)

Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1901):The Lake View Consols. The New Chairman on the Future of the Mine (12 Mar 1901)

The Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1898): Lake View Consols Mine
(16 Dec 1898)

The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1910): Mine Amalgamation
(18 Apr 1910)

The Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1902):Lake View Consols. A Visit to the Mine (19 Apr 1902)

The Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1902):The Chairman on the Mine's Prospects (18 Jan 1902)

Ralph, G.M., Softley, M.D.(2005): A Brief Illustrated History of Western Mining Corporation, presentation at BHP Billiton's take-over of the company (2005)

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