Strickland, CD & Ormsby, WR 2006, 'Western Australia’s Inventory of Abandoned Mine Sites', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2006: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 169-179, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/605_9
Mining has occurred in Western Australia for more than 150 years, resulting in many thousands of workings
that were abandoned after exploration or mining (Figure 1). Until recently, few of these workings and other
associated mine site features were documented. The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA)
commenced a program to accurately locate and document abandoned mine sites throughout the State in
1999. The inventory of individual mining-related features such as shafts, open cuts, dumps and infrastructure
focuses upon sites that are close to towns and main roads and were in production before 1990, when new
environmental legislation took effect. The innovative use of hand-held personal computers (PC) and Global
Positioning System (GPS) technology has facilitated the collection of a great deal of field data. This paper
discusses the background, methodology, and progress of the inventory, and applications of the database.
Figure 1 Examples of Western Australia’s legacy of abandoned mine sites. Disused 5 m
steel headframe and remnants of historic concrete footings at the Golden Age
mine 2.4 km south of Menzies (a). Underground shaft at the London mine
showing substantial collar collapse on the southern side, 16 m long, 6 m wide,
and extremely deep (>20 m). Located 6.5 km northwest of Kunanalling (b)
Minerals Environment Liaison Committee (1994) Conservation and rehabilitation in the gold mining industry, 1994:
Perth, W.A, A report to the Hon. Minister for mines, MGC70497 (unpublished).
Ormsby, W.R., Howard, H.M. and Eaton, N.W. (2003) Inventory of abandoned mine sites: Progress 1999-2002:
Geological Survey of Western Australia, Record 2003/9.
Ormsby, W.R., Strickland, C.D., Robins, J.A. and Jefferys, S.D.M. (2005) Spatial analysis of gold mineralization
information from GSWA’s abandoned mine site database: Geological Survey of Western Australia, 2004-2005
Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (1998) Mining Amendment Regulations (No. 4) 1997, Motion for disallowance:
Parliament of Western Australia, pp. 1479-1509.
Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (1999) Legislative Assembly Estimates Committee A, division 33: Minerals and
Energy: Parliament of Western Australia, p. E393.
Planning for Closure
Mine Closure 2006, Perth, Australia 179