|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||28° 46' 4'' South , 122° 4' 4'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-28.76787,122.06781|
|Köppen climate type:||BWh : Hot deserts climate|
For a short time in the early Twentieth Century, the Westralia Gold Mine was considered the richest in Western Australia.
Gold was discovered here in 1896 by Henry Lilley who pegged the Lily of the Valley lease. In 1898, the Westralia Mount Morgans Company was floated in Bombay India to English investors with 120 000 pounds capital. It was subsequently based in London. Alfred Edward Morgans was the main director from its inception, and was involved with the company until the bitter end. The Mount Morgans town site and Mount Morgans group of mines are named after him.
Morgans was born in Monmouthshire Wales in 1850. After a stint managing gold and silver mines in Central America, he arrived at Coolgardie in 1896. He became Coolgardie's first representative in State parliament, and was briefly Premier.
Initially the company was very successful. The first trial crushings were conducted in 1898 via a Tremain mill. A battery was erected which gradually expanded to a gigantic 60 heads. There was also a 5000 tonne cyanide plant. By 1904 400 men were employed. There were three lodes called Main, East and Kaolin. The main shaft was down to 350 feet. An electric light plant was installed supplying the mine and town, and Mount Morgans was the first town in the Eastern Goldfields to get the technology. By this stage the company had produced 59 600 tonnes of ore for 1 293 500 pounds, with 226 822 pounds of this distributed to shareholders.
In August 1902, Robert Ramsay (50) was killed by a fall of earth at the mine. In December 1907, Thomas Medlin was killed, although it is not mentioned how.
From 1904, things started to go downhill. The Main Lode disappeared under 200 feet and could not be relocated. 240 employees were sacked. In 1905, expenses outstripped income by 6000 pounds, and the company was overdrawn at the bank by another 7000 pounds. In 1909, the company was reconstructed, despite a shareholder revolt.
In 1911, the company was in the Bankruptcy Court. One of the creditors had taken action, the outcome of which, would have made him the sole secured creditor. This led other creditors to take action. The company owed money to the Western Australian Bank, Harris Scarfe, Wills and Co., and Faulding and Co. It also owed 25 000 pounds to the State Government and 5000 pounds to A.E. Morgans. The mine was closed between 1910 to 1913. The town fell into darkness when the electric light plant closed with the mine.
The company started mining again in 1913 and limped along only to 1916. The present site contains a very large elongated, north-south trending open pit, and underground workings from modern mining. The pit is immediately east of the historic town site. It has always been the dominant mine in the Mount Morgans group.
Gold is hosted in thin north-east dipping banded iron formation and porphyry dykes, in mainly a tholeiitic basaltic sequence. Talc-chlorite schists after komatiite occur in the western section of the pit. Lamphrophyre dykes are common in the pit. The structural history of the deposit is complex reflecting eleven discrete stages of a pulsing orogen. Early on there was westerly directing thrusting and dextral faults, switching with extensional under east-west contraction events. Then there was a north-west to south-east contraction, with sinistral strike slip faults. This was followed by a late collapse, with the development of normal faults, and flat lying crenulations.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.
4 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
- Igneous rock
- Sedimentary rock and sediment
- Metamorphic rock
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
|mafic extrusive rocks 74248|
Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)
Description: Basalt, high-Mg basalt, minor mafic intrusive rocks; some andesite; agglomerate; mafic schist; amphibolite; dolerite; komatiitic basalt; carbonated basalt; basaltic andesite; mafic rock interleaved with minor granitic rock
Comments: igneous mafic volcanic; igneous mafic intrusive; synthesis of multiple published descriptions
Lithology: Igneous mafic volcanic; 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). 
|Neoarchean - Mesoarchean|
2500 - 3200 Ma
|Archean volcanic and intrusive rocks|
Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)
Comments: Yilgarn Craton
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.