The Impact Mining has had on the Early History of Australia
Mining in Australia probably started with the arrival of Aborigines some 40,000 years ago when they fossicked for stones suitable for tools and weapons, and dug for ochre which they used for decorative use. “Modern” Australian mining followed the arrival of European settlers on the eastern seaboard in 1788, with the quarrying and shaping of Hawkesbury sandstone for early buildings at Sydney Cove. The first discovery of coal was made by escaped convicts in the Newcastle area in 1791. Over the next few years coal was reported at many other centres to the north and south of Sydney. The coal industry began in 1798 when ship owners gathered surface coal at Newcastle and brought it to Sydney for sale. Export of Newcastle coal began in 1799 with a shipment to India. In April 1851 the first reported discovery of payable gold was made by John Lister and William Tom at the junction of Lewis Ponds and Summer Hill Creeks, Ophir. Edward Hargraves, an associate of Lister and Tom, took their gold to the Colonial Secretary and then claimed the reward which included 5,000 pounds to Hargraves; and 500 pounds each to Lister, Tom and the Rev. W.B. Clarke. However, recently-discovered evidence in letters addressed to William Tipple Smith from the Government acknowledged the existence of gold at Ophir in 1848. http://www.readyed.com.au/Sites/minehist.htm ) In this assignment you research the impact of mining that has had on the early history of Australia. In approximately 1,500 words choose an Australian town or city where mining started in the 18th or 19th or even early 20th Century and describe its early history. x You should describe the mineral and how and where it was discovered. x How did mining begin eg a gold rush and the type of mining method used. What impact did mining have on the immediate area – maybe physical,social, environmental etc. x Where did the miners come from? Who came with them eg skilled tradesmen? x Did the miners/mining have a real lasting impact on the development of the area? x Is the mine/location still operational? x Include graphics, maps etc as part of your report.