Robert StichtPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland
The library commemorates Robert Sticht (1856 -1922), metallurgist and mining engineer who was manager of the Mount Lyell Mining & Railway Co. Ltd from 1897-1922. The original library was opened in 1926. 

Sticht spent 15 years as a metallurgist in Colorado and Montana, specialising in pyritic smelting. In 1893, he was approached by the directors of the Mount Lyell Mining & Railway Co and accepted a role as a metallurgist to bring his pyritic smelting expertise to Tasmania. He arrived in 1895 and constructed a plant and initiated pyritic smelting in Queenstown in 1896, albeit with the addition of some coke to the feed. In 1897 he became general manager of the Mount Lyell mine.

In 1902 he realised his hope of pure pyritic smelting, although he was forced to concede that the process was more efficient with up to one per cent coke and this was subsequently reintroduced. The mine continued profitable operation throughout the early years of the 20th century, but the advent of World War I heralded a particularly difficult period. The successful development of flotation by Guillaume Delprat and his colleagues over the same period saw the end of pyritic smelting in the early 1920s. Sticht’s technique was subsequently used elsewhere when ore conditions were right.

Sticht’s home, ‘Penghana’, overlooking the mine and smelter, housed his expansive private library including early editions of Shakespeare and Australiana. He also owned a significant collection of art, some of which is now housed in the National Gallery of Victoria. Robert Sticht died in Launceston on 30 April 1922. The mineral Stichtite, a rare lilac-coloured variety of serpentine, was named in his honour. 

The official opening of the Queenstown Public Library, which has been dedicated to the memory of the late Mr. Robert Sticht (general manager of the Mount Lyell Company), took place on Thursday afternoon. The library was formally declared open by the Warden (Mr. H. G. Faull). Speeches were also made by Messrs. Arch. Douglas, W. G. Grace, and Wm. Gibson. The hon secretary (Mr. H. Herron) announced that the prize for the winner of the popular authors competition had been awarded to Miss D. Tabart. During the afternoon and evening selections were rendered by the Queenstown Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. R. Dods, and by the Queenstown Brass Band under bandmaster W. Williams. Vocal items were rendered by Mrs. M. Dobbie, Misses A. Connolly, V. and R. Pearce, Mr. and Mrs. C. Layton, and a pianoforte solo by Miss O. Morgan. The library, which carries a comprehensive stock of books by leading authors and historians, in addition to daily and weekly papers and magazines, was thrown open for inspection. The library will fill a long-held want in the district. 
Examiner (Launceston, Tas.), 24 June 1926.


Address:9 Driffield Street, Queenstown, 7467
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.078671
Long: 145.556117
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Link: http://adb.anu.edu.au/


Front Inscription
Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au