Gold Mines Put Australia On The Map
Gold mines in Australia did not come to prominence until after the Gold Rush in the U.S. in the late 1800`s, even though gold had been discovered in the country much earlier. Since laws were still in effect that required any gold and silver mined to remain the property of the British crown, Australia was hesitant to tap into its newfound resource.
When gold was discovered in California in 1849, Australians quickly jumped on the bandwagon and began immigrating to the States to try to find their fortune. The Australian government did not want to see its people leaving in droves, so they began offering monetary rewards for “payable” gold. Soon, Australia was having a gold rush of its own.
Today, Australia is ranked third in the world in terms of gold resources, behind South Africa and the US. About 60 percent of Australia`s resources are located in the Western portion of the country. There are several types of gold mines in Australia, but the primary type is open pit. These are generally safer and easier to work than underground mines, making it that much easier to produce a considerable lode.
Western Australia is home to the biggest open pit mine in the country, the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie. This one mine produces up to 850,000 ounces of gold each year, which represents a vast majority of the gold mined across the country.
When it comes to gold mines in Australia, there are many different types and sizes. Olympic Dam, located just north of Adelaide in South Australia, is the country`s largest underground mine. It produces several different types of minerals along with gold, including copper and uranium. Most of Olympic Dam`s employees live in nearby Roxby Downs township, a close-knit community of 4,000 citizens.
Since the early 1800`s, mining has been a significant source of economic stability in Australia. Gold in particular helped the economy to rebound as the Australian gold rush brought a wave of new chums, or immigrants from the U.K. and other Commonwealth states. Although some gold mines had been tapped out by the early 1900`s, many still continue to produce to this day.
Though the presence of gold mines in Australia has been an economic boon, it has taken its toll environmentally, with erosion and deforestation stripping many areas of their natural resources. However, Australia also remains on the cutting edge of the industry, employing some of the latest technological advances and providing for both more productive and safer mining operations.
It is hard to deny the important role gold mining has played in putting Australia on the map. The valuable ore has meant a great deal to the development of the country and continues to be the centre of one of its biggest industries. When it comes to mining, Australia definitely has the golden touch!
Gold Mines In Australia
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