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Oroya Brownhill Gold Mine (Brownhill lease; Oroya Block North; Oroya Block South), Golden Mile Mines, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 46' 1'' South , 121° 30' 7'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.76688,121.50190
GeoHash:G#: qdw2uz4cz
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate

This is a mine some say had the richest lode of any on the Golden Mile in its early years. It was a star which shone brightly early on, but faded rapidly. Measurements are in imperial in keeping with the historic references.

It started as two companies, operating mines on neighboruing leases. The Hannans Oroya Company established its mine and treatment plant across 1896-1898, led by a Captain Parkes. The initial rich lode was met at 100 feet down the shaft. The Hannans Brownhill Company was registerred in London in 1894, with 75 000 pounds of capital, and developed the neighbouring mine, and also erected a treatment plant. In 1901 it replaced this with a state of the art Diehl treatment plant which had the ability to obtain gold from sulphide, not just oxidised ore.

In 1902 the two companies decided to amalgamate to form the Oroya Brownhill company. At the time the press were critical Brownhill was the weaker of the two parties. The oxidised ore on the Brownhill lease was almost exhausted and no new lodes had been found. The lease did however contain a modern treatment plant. Oroya on the other hand was one of the richest on the field for its gold potential, but no money to develop it. The new company only lasted till 1910.

The company controlled the Brownhill lease,Oroya Block North and Oroya Block South. The Oroya Block South mined a lode called Australia East from its Pomeroy Shaft. Meanwhile, the Oroya North Block accessed a rich shoot which had initially outcropped on the surface of the neighbouring Brownhill lease. It was 1600 feet long through the Brownhill lease and 700 feet long through the Oroya lease, and was one of the richest telluride ore lodes on the Golden Mile. It averaged by volume an incredible 60% gold. The shoot saw 1.325 Mt of ore processed from it for 7 million pounds monetary wise in gold in early Twentieth Century figures. The ore lode had outcropped on the surface at the north end of the Brownhill lease in its north-east corner, and traversed Cygnet, Brownhill Extended at its north-west corner, Associated Northern, Oroya North Block at 1000 feet deep, and pettered out in the Associated lease. Its total length was 3300 feet long, averaging 150 feet wide and 70 feet in height.

In 1910, Golden Links Limited and Kalgoorlie Amalgamated (1900) Limited came under the control of the company. Shortly after, Oroya Brownhill ceased as an entity. The company was split into Oroya Exploration Company Limited which developed assets outside the Golden Mile; Oroya Black Range Limited which operated gold mines in the Mid-West region of Western Australia; Oroya Leonesa Limited which operated mines in central America; and Oroya Links Limited which continued the operations on the Golden Mile.

Oroya Exploration Company Limited amalgamated with Lake View Consols in 1911, so Oroya could obtain capital to develop its mines. It formed the new company Lakeview and Oroya Exploration Limited. At the time Oroya Exploration owned the Transvaal Mine at Southern Cross, Ingliston and Queen of the Hills Mines at Meekatharra, and the Youanmi Mines south of Sandstone.

Increased costs and labour shortages during World War One saw the company suffer losses. Its small profit after the war was wasted fighting court battles with the Commonwealth Government over taxation rulings. At the 1918 shareholder meeting the chairman stated the court proceedings meant the company was 'out of action'. In 1920 the Lake View Investment Trust acquired Lake View and Oroya Exploration Limited.

Meanwhile Oroya Links continued to mine on the Golden Mile, but was suffering similar losses during World War One. In 1913 it was in control of neighbouring Croesus Proprietary lease, and its Eclipse Shaft. The company focussed on developing this mine. It also controlled the Levant lease immediately to the north, which also included part of the Eclipse lode.

During the war, the company let out the Brownhill and Oroya North Block leases on tribute. This did not help and losses continued, and by 1925 they had abandoned all their leases except Croesus. In 1928 mining at this location was also suspended, and shortly after the company, its leases, plant and equipment was sold to neighbouring North Kalgurli (1912) Limited, and as such beyond this date the leases are tied to this mine.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

21 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 794157
mafic intrusive rocks 74263

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Mafic intrusive rocks, medium to coarse-grained; layered mafic to ultramafic intrusions - dolerite, gabbro, olivine gabbro, peridotite, pyroxenite, leucogabbro, quartz dolerite, quartz gabbro, gabbronorite

Comments: igneous mafic intrusive; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous mafic intrusive

Reference: Raymond, O.L., Liu, S., Gallagher, R., Zhang, W., Highet, L.M. Surface Geology of Australia 1:1 million scale dataset 2012 edition. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia). [5]

Neoarchean - Mesoarchean
2500 - 3200 Ma

ID: 3187518
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Greenstone belt; mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page 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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1911): Oroya Exploration Company Ltd (10 Nov 1911)
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1911): Lake View Consol and Oroya Exploration (12 Dec 1911)
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1921): Lake View Investment Trust (26 Jul 1921)
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1918): Lake View and Oroya Exploration (01 Jan 1918)
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1920): Lake View Invetsment Trust (02 Feb 1920)
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1900): Golden West Australia (14 Nov 1900)
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1913): Oroya Links (29 Dec 1913)
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1913): Oroya Links (02 Aug 1913)
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1916): Oroya Links (04 Sep 1916)
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1897): Hannans Oroya (08 Jul 1897)
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1901): The Diehl Process. Treating Hannans Brownhill Ore (04 Jun 1901)
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1928): Oroya Links (26 Apr 1928)
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1902): Brownhill-Oroya Amalgamation (23 Aug 1902)
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1923): A Fabulous Bonanza. Brownhill Oroya Shoot. Model for Exhibition (23 Oct 1923)
Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 1, 2, & 3, State Government of Western Australia, 1948

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