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Currawang Mine Mining History (15 November 2014)
contributed by DennisF
(contact DennisF about this story | see more stories from DennisF)
This was originally a very old copper mine dating back to 1862. It went by various names including the Currowong Copper Mine or the Phoenix Mine.
In 1865 a company was formed to work the deposit called the Currowong Copper-mining Company. First production was recorded as 1000 tons of 14% copper in 1866 which went to the Newcastle Smelting Works. Attempts were made to smelt and beneficiate ore on site with limited success. In 1872 the Phoenix Copper-mining Company was formed to continue mining after the previous company was wound up in 1869. The Phoenix Company only appeared to operate for up to two years and was plagued with problems.
In 1896 the Currowong Copper and Gold Mining Company (Limited) was formed. A limited amount of rehabilitation work was done on old workings but no production ensued and the mine was again abandoned.
Further attempts were made to re-open the mine in 1880 and 1907 without success. After 1907 there was a considerable amount slag present on the site to indicate a large amount of ore must have been smelted. Ore from the West Lode sampled in 1907 went 2.95% copper.
In the period 1979 to 1980 the area east of the old copper mine, called Currawang East, was extensively drilled by Jododex Australia Pty Ltd who derived a mineable resource figure of less than one million tonnes of high grade copper, lead, zinc and silver ore hosted in the Currawang Metabasalt and associated hydrobreccia. Denehurst Ltd did more drilling in the late 1980s and released a resource figure of 530,000t of 2.5% copper, 3.92% lead, 12.98% zinc, 75 g/t silver and 0.25 g/t gold, This deposit was mined by Denehurst in the early 1990s and treated at the Woodlawn Mill 10 kilometres distant.
This story was uploaded into the Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia entry for the Mine 'Currawang Mine'.
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