17th AMHA CONFERENCE
59 Main Rd Hahndorf
September 12-18, 2011
The 17th AMHA conference was held in the German township of Hahndorf, located just 30 mins from the centre of Adelaide in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Surrounding Hahndorf is the site of some of Australia’s earliest mining activity and includes historic gold, copper and silver-lead mines, and mining townships. In addition there are historic brickworks, an operating metal mine and one of Australia’s largest mine rehabilitation projects.
The conference theme was Australia’s Earliest Mining Era which refers to the first era of metal mining in Australia which took place in the Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia in the period 1841-1851. This was the decade prior to the discovery of gold in the eastern States when South Australia possessed most of Australia’s metal mines. Conference Program
Welcome Reception, Auchendarroch House, Mt Barker
AMHA Dinner, Bird in Hand Winery, Woodside
Social Evening, Hahndorf Institute
Callington Township and Bremer Mine
The Bremer Mine was the largest mine in the Kanmantoo district up to 1900, producing over 30,000t of copper ore from 1849-1875. The township of Callington was laid out adjacent to the mine in 1850 and a number of buildings of the mining era survive, including the 1881 Police Station and cells.
Jupiter Creek Diggings
Gold was discovered near Echunga, 16km from Adelaide, in 1852, but could not halt a general exodus to the Victorian Goldfields. In 1868, a small rush took place at Jupiter Creek and mining was carried out periodically until the 1960s. A self-guided walking trail was established in 1984.
The brickworks were established in 1892 to produce high quality firebricks for use in smelting works and foundries from white clay mined from an adjacent quarry. Today it produces specialty bricks and pavers and two of the original kilns survive.
The mine was worked for pyrite from 1955 to 1972 which was used in the production of sulphuric acid and superphosphate fertiliser. A lime neutralisation plant was commissioned in 1980 to treat acid water seeping from the open cut and tailings dump.
Full Day Tours
Willunga Township and Slate Quarries
Slate was discovered in the hills near Willunga in 1840 and led to the development of a thriving industry. It was quarried by Cornish miners and carted to Port Willunga, where it was shipped for use in the building industry. The industry declined after the 1890s but many historic buildings within Willunga featuring the use of slate still stand. The tour included the Slate Museum and Trail and a visit to the historic Bangor Quarry.
Mylor to Hallett Cove
The discovery of silver near Mylor in 1868 sparked a small rush which led to the commencement of Almanda Mine. A self-guided trail explores the mine ruins and workings. The Worthing Mine at Hallett Cove was worked briefly in the early 1850s and its Cornish enginehouse is the oldest remaining in Australia. Nearby in the steep valley are several historic stone quarries.
Kanmantoo-Strathalbyn Mining District
Copper was discovered by two Cornish miners near Kanmantoo in 1845 and two groups jointly purchased the Mt Barker Special Mineral Survey of 20,000 acres. Mining commenced at Kanmantoo in 1846 and by1850 numerous mines had been established in the area most named after famous Cornish mines. The most important mines were Kanmantoo, Paringa and Bremer. The Kanmantoo Mine was reworked from 1970-1976 and a new mining operation commenced in 2011. Silver-lead ore was discovered south of the Kanmantoo area in the late 1850s resulting in numerous prospects and small mines the most significant of which were Wheal Ellen and the Aclare Mine. The Angas Mine commenced operations on a newly discovered zinc deposit in 2008.
Click to enlarge Photos: Stephen Imrie and Greg Drew
Aclare Mine near Callington
. Almanda Mine, Scotts Creek
Angas Zinc Mine, Strathalbyn Balhannah Mine
Bangor Quarry, Willunga
Bird in Hand Mine Brukunga Mine Grunthal Mine
Jupiter Creek Diggings Kanmantoo Mine
Old Echunga Diggings Paringa Mine
Worthing Mine Reynella Quarries