Tuesday, 09 May 2017 08:14

SA copper mining towns Burra and Moonta added to National Heritage List

Two South Australian copper mining towns, Burra and Moonta, have become the 109th and 110th places to be added to the National Heritage List.

Copper was discovered in South Australia in 1842 and the richness of further deposits found meant the new colony was soon producing five per cent of the world’s copper resources, earning it the nickname the ‘Copper Kingdom.’

Burra’s Monster Mine was the largest in Australia for more than 10 years and supported a thriving mining community. By 1851 Burra was Australia's largest inland settlement, with a population of around 5000.

The opening of the Moonta Mines in 1861 produced a significant boost to the South Australian economy, earning 67,000 pounds in its first year of operation. By 1870 the population of Moonta was second only to Adelaide.

A generation of Cornish miners, engineers and tradespeople worked in the copper mines bringing traditions and a culture that are still celebrated to this day. The Cornish mining system spread from South Australia to other mining regions like Broken Hill, Bendigo, Kalgoorlie and Charters Towers.

Burra and Moonta provide the earliest examples of Cornish mining and domestic architecture in Australia.

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