Remnants of the Past: The Old Burra Burra Mine

On the edge of the town of Burra in the mid-north of South Australia sits the Burra Burra Mine. The colour of the water in this old mine pit is quite stunning.  The greenish colour which changes throughout the year is believed to be caused by a scattering of light caused by minute crystals in the water.

The old Burra Burra Mine South Australia
The old Burra Burra Mine

The Burra metalliferous ore (containing metal) mine originally opened by the South Australian Mining Association had a number of key periods during its operating life. Firstly as an underground mine from 1845 to 1867 (depth 183 metres), then the revolutionary concept of open cut mining came into play from 1870 until 1877 when the mine closed (depth 37 metres). During that time 50,000 tonnes of copper was extracted from 700,000 tonnes of ore. The mining operation proved to be unprofitable during this period.

The Burra Burra Mine circa 1904
The Burra Burra Mine circa 1904 (Photo Source: Department of Mines and Energy Burra Mine Museum information board)
Burra Burra Mine South Australia
The Burra Burra Mine today
Burra Burra Mine South Australia Blasting sign
Remnant of the past: Beware of the blasting!

The open cut mine was reopened in 1971 and deepened to 100 metres. Operations ceased again in 1981 with 24,000 tonnes of copper extracted from two million tonnes of ore.  Groundwater was always an issue with the operation of the mine and the water you see today is at the natural level of about 50 metres deep.

The nice little South Australian town of Burra
The nice little South Australian town of Burra
Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

  1. 1world2feet says:

    Very interesting photos!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s