The Yilgarn Retrospective 1950–99 Symposium

Jenny Bevan, M. Elias, J. Vearncombe

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2016 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and The AusIMM. Published by Taylor & Francis on behalf of the Institute and The AusIMM.The Yilgarn Craton (Western Australia) forms a large part of inland central and southern Western Australia. It hosts gold mines in the Kalgoorlie to Wiluna area, at Norseman, Meekatharra and Boddington; nickel from Ravensthorpe to Kambalda and Leinster; bauxite (aluminium) ores in the Darling Range; copper–zinc at Golden Grove; tantalum at Greenbushes; iron ore at Koolyanobbing; and uranium at Yeelirrie. In the second half of the twentieth century, the Yilgarn witnessed a transformative period in the resources industry which included the discovery and successful exploitation of a new deposit type (komatiite-hosted nickel sulphide), a massive boom in the exploration and mining of Archaean lode gold, and developments in a number of other commodities. By 1999, 20 million tonnes of nickel had been identified, and the gold inventory rose in 20 years from 4 million ounces to 100 million ounces, despite the mining of about 100 million ounces over the same period. Nickel production reached 170 000 tonnes per annum and gold production was ∼6.5 million ounces per annum. Western Australia was converted from a small economy based largely on agriculture to the world’s mining powerhouse. These commercial successes were a culmination of research yielding new deposit models, a new appreciation of the regolith that blankets the Yilgarn and the tools to work beneath that regolith.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)190-201
    Number of pages12
    JournalTransactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


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