• Album of Photographs presented to Governor Chermside by Mount Morgan Town Council

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    State Library Qld
Mount Morgan mine

A stockman named William Mackinlay discovered deposits of gold on Calliungal Station, 40 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton, in 1880. There was little initial interest, however, as the gold was mixed with ironstone rather than quartz, making profitable extraction difficult. Two years later one of Mackinlay’s daughters persuaded Thomas Morgan, who had considerable mining experience, to examine the find. After specimens of ore were assayed, Thomas joined with his two brothers to work the deposits and within a year they had secured their fortunes. Believing the gold was nearly exhausted, they sold out to a syndicate for £90,000, the leading shareholder of which was William Knox D’Arcy. Far from exhaustion, Mount Morgan continued to yield great wealth and D’Arcy was able to use his profits to found a company which later became British Petroleum. Indeed, Mount Morgan emerged as Queensland’s leading gold producer and in 1903, the same year that Governor Chermside visited the township and was presented with this magnificent album by Mount Morgan Town Council, copper production also commenced. A dramatic fall in prices and a serious fire left Mount Morgan virtually derelict in 1929 when a new company, Mount Morgan Limited, purchased the workings and began open-cut operations. Modern mining techniques subsequently obliterated the topographical feature which gave the mine its name, and the various processes used for extracting gold and copper from the ore extended the company’s operations well beyond Mount Morgan. Although the mine made a huge contribution to the Queensland economy in the 19th and 20th centuries, through the efforts of William Knox D’Arcy it can rightly be contended that Mount Morgan also made its mark on the world.


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