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Discovery of CopperPrint Page Print this page

28-March-2014
28-March-2014

Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

A monument commemorates the discovery of copper in the Moonta District in 1861.

Large and rich deposits of copper were discovered at Moonta in 1861 by shepherds from Walter Watson Hughes' sheep farm. This became a prosperous mine, named Wheal Hughes, with other mines soon to follow. The town was laid out in 1863 and a horse-drawn tramway to Wallaroo was established in 1863. Following advertising by the South Australian Government, Cornish miners arrived in Moonta soon afterward. The mines at Moonta proved to be the richest mines in the whole of South Australia by 1917, exceeding the total wealth created by all other mines since 1836, the year of establishment of South Australia. The population of Moonta in 1875 was 12,000. The primary copper mining operations ceased in 1923, but smaller-scale operations recommenced in the area in the 1990s, and ended 2 years later.

 

Location

Address:George & Henry Streets, Queens Square, Moonta, 5558
State:SA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.066938
Long: 137.589666
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Technology
Sub-Theme:Industry

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 13th May, 1961
Front Inscription

This memorial was promoted by the Moonta Workers Club Inc. to commemorate the discovery of copper in the Moonta District in May 1861.

It was presented to the town of Moonta by the Hon. R. S. Richards J.P. and accepted by the Mayor R. K. Butler Esq. on behalf of the citizens on May 13th 1961.

Unveiled by Oswald Pryor Esq. May 13th 1961

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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