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2017 May – Australian Cornish Mining Sites: Burra and Moonta Mines

These two places were finally added to the National Heritage List in May 2017, eight years after the assessment process began in 2009, following the sites shortlisting for listing.  National Listing Gazette Notice

The SA Mining History Group was a stakeholder in the assessment process for the listing of these two sites.

The ANU School of Archaeology & Anthropology was responsible for the public consultation process necessary for the Ministerial Decision to be made on the Nomination.
This process included:
production of a Report to identify and assess the National Heritage significance of the sites.
Consultation with Key Stakeholders to gauge comments and opinions on the parameters, significance, research and conservation issues pertinent to the two sites.

The Burra and Moonta Mines State Heritage Areas contain the most authentic and historically significant components of the Cornish Mining Landscape in Australia for the period 1845 to 1923. The site contains the mines, remains of infrastructure including Cornish beam enginehouses and distinctive settlement patterns.

cws-logo2.jpgThe Cornish Mining World Heritage Site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006 and recognises Cornish mining’s fundamental influence on world hard rock mining, ore dressing and in particular steam engine technology during the nineteenth century. During this time Cornwall developed a distinctive regional identity which took on global significance with mass migration of Cornish culture after 1840.
Link to Cornish Mining World Heritage website

The aim is have Burra and Moonta as a Transnational World Heritage Listing involving Cornwall, South Australia, Mexico, Spain and South Africa to the existing Cornish World Heritage Site. This would recognise that the distinctive mining landscapes in those locations were derived directly from the Cornish mining landscape.

Moonta Mines State Heritage Area

2012 Oct – Blinman Tourist Mine

On 13-14 October 2012, the Blinman Tourist Mine was officially opened in front of about 100 people.  The Blinman Mine was worked during four separate periods from 1862 until 1907 when ore was exhausted. It yielded 200,000t of ore containing 10,000t of copper and was the largest mine in the Flinders Ranges.    3D view of the Blinman Mine

blinman.jpgIn 1996, the long abandoned mine site was turned into a local tourist feature by the SA Dept. of Mines and Energy which established a self-guided walking trail with interpretive signs and a brochure.  A 65m long adit, which was excavated in 1899 to give access to the 27m level of the mine, was rehabilitated for public access with funds provided by the SA Tourism Commission (SATC). Viewing areas were installed at the end of the adit providing spectacular views of the upper workings of the mine which have been excavated to the surface leaving a huge chasm.

Since 2000, the Blinman Progress Association (BPA) has taken responsibility for the mine site with its main aim the redevelopment of the historic mine as an integrated tourism experience with the township. The Blinman Tourist Mine was initiated in 2005 with funding from the SATC supported grants from a range of bodies including the Dept. of Trade and Economic Development and the Northern Regional Development Board together with money from the Blinman Progress Association.

New tunnels were excavated connecting the adit to the 1860s Cornish workings which provide access to spectacular large open stopes where rich ore was removed. This unique underground experience is enhanced by a light and sound show.