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Ivanhoe Gold Mine, Golden Mile Mines, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 47' 9'' South , 121° 29' 59'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.78593,121.49984
GeoHash:G#: qdw2ug96z
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate

The Ivanhoe Gold Mine was one of the richest and largest mines on the Golden Mile. Between October 1898 to December 1923, the mine produced 4.6 Mt of ore for just over 2.5 million ounces of gold worth approximately 11 million pounds, and paid dividends of almost 4 million pounds. For many years it had the deepest shaft on the Golden Mile at 3600 feet deep. No less than a 100 stamp battery occupied the crest of the hill overlooking Boulder.

The mine was on the western side of the Golden Mile, with the Great Boulder lease bordering it to the east and north, and Golden Horseshoe to the south. 24 acres.

The lease was originally owned by the Ivanhoe Gold Mining Company of Melbourne. On October 14 1897, the Ivanhoe Gold Corporation Limited was formed to take over the lease from the prior company. It had 1 million in capital split between 200 000 shares at 5 pounds each.

On June 1 1924, the mine and company was taken over by Lake View and Star, although the Ivanhoe Company still had 200 000 pounds in hand. The entity ceased to exist in 1938. Meanwhile on the lease itself Lake View and Star removed the battery, and used part of the tailings dump as stope filler. They continued to mine ore through the 1930's from the Ivanhoe shaft, although activities were often wracked by strikes.

A fire broke out in the hauling engine in 1914, said to be one of the largest fires seen on the Golden Mile. The ore breaking plant burned to the ground, and poppet legs damaged. As there was only one hauling shaft on the mine, the 110 underground workers made their way to the Great Boulder and Golden Horseshoe mines, which were joined underground, and were raised to the surface. The fire was caused by driving ropes slipping off, and getting wound around the shaft, the friction igniting the woodwork. Nearby grease and other flammable material fed the flames.

The mine had its usual roll call of victims, typical of Golden Mile mines. While shareholders and management were becoming rich, miners were dying.

Shift Boss, John Drummond, in 1896 died from a fall of earth at the 100 foot level. William Brown who was with him remained a cripple for life.
Samuel Chinnick was shovelling dirt in 1899, when a stone fell from an ore truck on a tramway above, and struck him in the head.

Underground shift boss, John McLaughlin, was killed by falling mullock from an upper level in 1901. His family was originally from the Thames Goldfield in New Zealand. The same year, electrician, Frank H. Hubble died after falling into an open cut.

James McEwan died from a fall of earth in 1904. Charles or Carl Hass died from a blasting accident in 1906, when the ground gave way beneath him after explosives were set off. George Morgan died after falling down a ladder also in 1906. In 1907 Robert Williams and Oscar Olsen were killed from a fall of earth. Harry Murphy and John Martin died at the 1200 foot level from a fall of earth in 1908.

Stanley Evans died in 1911, when he was caught in moving belting at the plant. Richard Michell fell to his death from an upper floor of the battery in 1913. Edward Bruce Middleton was killed in 1918, although the source does not mention a cause.

James McNeil in 1914 was using a steel drill instead of the regulation wooden tamping when setting explosives, when the charges were set off prematurely. He was impaled on the steel drill and suffered other injuries from the explosion.

James Bizacca (50) was killed from a fall of earth in 1925. In 1926, four miners were killed within five days. John Henry Guy and James Henry Harvey were killed in a fall of earth on the 13 August 1926. Then John Willis and William Connell were killed in a fall of earth in the same stope five days later.

George MacDaniell (39) was killed by a premature explosion in 1931, which hurled him down to the bottom of a winze. He was the fourth member of his family to be killed in a mining accident.

Peter Gugich (24) was riding on one of the ore trucks when his head hit a chute and he was killed instantly in 1933. R. Radisish (22) and Ivan Simonivich died in 1934. Radisish slipped out of the cage and was dashed against the side of the shaft. In the process, he had grabbed Simonivich, who was pulled out the cage and suffered the same fate.

Joseph Turner was killed by an underground explosion in 1933. Enoch Potch (30), was struck on the head by a stone that fell down the shaft in 1936. It was noted at the time nine miners had been killed in Western Australia across a two month period.

In case you have lost count, 26 miners were killed over a 40 year period.

The last death that will be mentioned was completely avoidable, and relates to one of the sorriest tales in Australian history. Australia's culture changed radically in the second part of the Twentieth Century to the multi cultural and peaceful society it is today. This was not always the case. The country had been settled by the British (who viewed the existing indigenous population as an aberration), Britain was still seen as the mother country, food and culture was totally British, and the isolated population here viewed anything different with suspicion.

Miners from southern Europe, especially Italy and the former Yugoslavian territories, had been part of the Kalgoorlie goldfields since the early days. There had been periodic troubles for forty years, often it was claimed the southern Europeans would work for less wages and conditions. This culminated in one of the largest race riots Australia has seen in 1934 in Boulder, when an entire suburb called Dingbat Flat was burned to the ground.

During the riot, gunfire and flashes from explosions were seen on the Ivanhoe tailing dumps overlooking the town. A number of Yugoslavians had dug themselves into the hill, defending their camps at its base. A pitched battle ensued, and eventually the Yugoslavians retreated over the brow of the hill. A dead Montenegrin called Christo was found in the camp shot through the head, and four Australian miners on the other side were wounded. The camps and nine buildings at the base of the dumps were set on fire, then the mob moved towards Kalgoorlie burning and destroying any 'foreigner' camp they could find.

Commodity List

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

Mineral List

28 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

0 - 2.588 Ma

ID: 742372
colluvium 38491

Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)

Description: Colluvium and/or residual deposits, sheetwash, talus, scree; boulder, gravel, sand; may include minor alluvial or sand plain deposits, local calcrete and reworked laterite

Comments: regolith; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Regolith

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

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Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
The West Australian newspaper (1938), Passing of the Ivanhoe, 03/10/1938
Geraldton Guardian and Express newspaper (1934), Foreigners Attacked. Struggle at Ivanhoe Dump. One Man Killed, 01/02/1934
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1907), The Fatality in the Ivanhoe Mine, 08/01/1907
Coolgardie Miner newspaper (1906), The Ivanhoe Fatality. Result of Inquiry, 06/01/1906
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1918), Killed on the Ivanhoe, 05/05/1918
Coolgardie Miner newspaper (1904), Ivanhoe Mine Fatality. Alleged Neglect, 25/02/1904
The Daily News newspaper (Perth) (1934), Tragedy at Ivanhoe. Cage Trap, 29/06/1935
The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate newspaper (1936), Heavy Toll in the Ivanhoe Mine, 05/03/1936
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1911), Fatality at the Ivanhoe Mine, 16/01/1911
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1899), Another Mining Accident. A Miner Killed at the Ivanhoe, 19/09/1899
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1899), The Kalgoorlie Mines. The Ivanhoe Mine, 09/12/1899
Observer newspaper (Adelaide) (1914), An Underground Tragedy. Ivanhoe Miner Mutilated, 10/01/1914
Coolgardie Miner newspaper (1896), Fatal Accident at the Ivanhoe, 01/08/1896
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1901), Fatality at the Ivanhoe Mine, 18/05/1901
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1901), Fatality at the Ivanhoe, 24/08/1901
Northern Times newspaper (Carnarvon) (1933), Miner Killed at Ivanhoe Mine, 08/11/1933
Geraldton Guardian and Express newspaper (1913), Fatal Fall at Ivanhoe Mine, 18.03/1913
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1933), A Miner Killed. Accident on the Ivanhoe, 03/09/1933
Bendigo Advertiser newspaper (1906), The Ivanhoe Fatality, 11/08/1906
Northern Times newspaper (Carnarvon) (1931), Fatality at the Ivanhoe Mine, 13/08/1931
Bendigo Advertiser newspaper (1906), The Ivanhoe Fatality, 08/01/1906
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1914), Blaze at Kalgoorlie. Ivanhoe Mine Seriously Damaged, 25/02/1914
Norseman Times newspaper (1908), Fatal Accident at the Ivanhoe, 31/07/1908
The Telegraph newspaper (Brisbane) (1926), Mine Disaster. Two Men Killed at Ivanhoe, 18/08/1926
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1926), Two Men Killed. Earth Slip at the Ivanhoe, 13/08/1926
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1925), A Miner Killed. Accident on the Ivanhoe, 04/11/1925
Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 1, 2, & 3, State Government of Western Australia, 1948

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