Mining Heritage

Aug 12, 2016
Flood of memories 100 years after Clermont disaster

Flood of memories 100 years after Clermont disaster

Clermont’s Gold and Coal Festival will have a significant historical focus this year as the community commemorates the devastating flood that killed more than 60 people 100 years ago. A floating lantern ceremony is planned next Friday evening (August 19) as part of the two-day festival, according to Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker. “Some 300 lanterns will be released onto Hoods Lagoon ...

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Jul 20, 2016
Pit ponies a beloved part of Collinsville coal story

Pit ponies a beloved part of Collinsville coal story

At the heart of Collinsville’s mining history is the story of the town’s beloved pit ponies who worked alongside the underground miners, were at the centre of a union strike and even saved the life of one of the town’s locals. Former CFMEU Collinsville lodge president Mike Brunker tells of the day that his father ‘Sugar’ Ray Brunker escaped the 1954 mine disaster while he tended to one o...

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Jul 20, 2016
Memories of Mary Kathleen

Memories of Mary Kathleen

Between the years 1956-1963 and 1974-1983 Mary Kathleen was a bustling mining town and popular social spot.  Now all that remains is bitumen road and the concrete slabs where car ports once were. The once thriving uranium town, was founded by Clem Walton and Norm McConarchy in 1954 during a time when everyone was searching Queensland for the commodity. The ore was to be sent to Great Britain for ...

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Jul 20, 2016
Gem of a spot to stumble on a fortune

Gem of a spot to stumble on a fortune

A 14-year-old boy was walking behind the local post office on his way home from school when he discovered a hidden gem. It was 1979 in the Central Queensland gemfields and young Serli “Smiley” Nelson had just discovered what became known as the largest gem-quality sapphire in the world. The Centenary Sapphire, which weighed in at 2020 carats, was stolen in 1983 from an exhibition but was recov...

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Jul 20, 2016
Lure for treasure seekers

Lure for treasure seekers

    Sapphires were first reported in the Sapphire gemfields by John Archibald Richardson in the 1870s. By 1890 commercial mining had begun in Retreat Creek in the present town of Sapphire. It was hard work in an isolated spot in harsh conditions with a lack of water. Mines were dug by hand using picks and shovels in open pits or trenches. The early miners also dug square sided shafts, wh...

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Jul 15, 2016
Moura commemorates coalfields disaster

Moura commemorates coalfields disaster

A memorial service will be held in Moura, Central Queensland, tomorrow (Saturday) to commemorate 12 miners killed on July 16, 1986 in an underground explosion at the Moura No.4 coal mine. CFMEU Mines and Energy Queensland District president Stephen Smyth, Queensland Mines and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham and Chief Inspector of Coal Mines Russell Albury are among those expected to atte...

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Jul 13, 2016
US spy infiltrated Roma oil operation

US spy infiltrated Roma oil operation

  The year was 1924 when an undercover American geologist managed to weed his way onto an Australian oil drilling project on the outskirts of Roma with the intention of leaking information back to the United States. The year prior, The Lander Oil Company had landed on the scene and had set up the first search for oil outside of the Roma exclusion zone at ‘Tiger Scrub’ Orallo (50 km north...

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Jul 13, 2016
Gas hub springs from pioneers’ search for water

Gas hub springs from pioneers’ search for water

More than 100 years ago a search for water pushed the small Queensland town of Roma into an unexpected boom and saw the birth of Australia’s oil and gas industries. In 1900 the town began drilling a well named QG No.2 (QG No.1 had been unsuccessful) as a solution to water shortages in the region. To everyone’s surprise, during the drilling process they struck natural gas. At the time the town...

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Jul 13, 2016
Pioneer prospectors set up shop

Pioneer prospectors set up shop

They were drawn to Far North Queensland by news of gold finds on the Palmer River, but it was a retail empire that helped Scotsman William Jack and Irishman John Newell become household names throughout the region. The pair played a key role in the birth of the Herberton tin mining district in the 1880s – both as prospectors and through their general store, which provided a kick start for mining...

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