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Kalgoorlie is located  595 kilometres east of Perth and 410 kilometres north of Esperance.

The traditional landowners of the Kalgoorlie area are the Maduwangka people and the name Kalgoorlie is said to mean "Silky Pear Bush" in the local aboriginal language.

European settlement of Kalgoorlie began in June 1893 with the discovery of rich alluvial gold deposits near Mount Charlotte. The three Irish gold prospectors credited with the discovery were Paddy Hannan, Dan Shea and Tom Flanagan. Paddy Hannan later reported discovering 8 pounds of gold nuggets to the mining warden in Coolgardie, and within a matter of days 700 gold diggers were frantically pegging out mining claims around Kalgoorlie. Kalgoorlie's gold rush had begun and by 1903 the town boasted a population of 30,000, along with 93 hotels and 8 breweries.

 
For Kalgoorlie's pioneering gold diggers the pickings were rich indeed, but if the pickings were rich, so too were the costs of essential miner's supplies. Early reports of the time indicate that Kalgoorlie's miners were forced to live on overpriced "tinned dog" - a commonly eaten but universally detested canned meat product. For the digger even basic foodstuffs such as flour were extravagantly priced. At the time Kalgoorlie's wholesale price for flour was 120 pounds per ton whilst the going rate in Perth was a mere 10 pounds. Water too was almost more precious than gold. Chronic water shortages allowed owners of water desalination plants to sell water for anywhere between 6 pence and one shilling and sixpence per gallon. It was little wonder then, that many diggers died of typhoid - the inevitable result of drinking contaminated water.
 
By the late 1890s Kalgoorlie's rich alluvial gold deposits had been largely worked out. With the discovery of deep gold reefs and rich telluride minerals at nearby Boulder the age of the independent digger soon drew to a close.

1897 saw the Kalgoorlie Boulder gold fields riding the crest of   an investment wave largely financed by British speculators. The stage was set for the creation of a highly capitalised modern gold mining industry. Literally hundreds of companies were floated, fortunes were won and lost, and for many years Kalgoorlie's metallurgists led the world in developing commercial treatments of gold bearing ores.
By 1902 deep underground mining of gold leads had become the norm with the Great Boulder Mine continuing to discover payable gold 1500 feet below the surface. Later Boulder Mining leases came to be known as "The Golden Mile" and by all accounts this area contained the richest square mile of gold reserves in the world.

Today the Golden Mile continues to be actively worked by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. During the past 20 years the use of modern open cut mining technologies has seen

 the Golden Mile transform itself into a Super Pit. Current dimensions of the "Super Pit" are 290 metres deep by 1.5 kilometres wide and 4 kilometres long. At current extraction rates KCGM  has proven reserves that should last beyond the year 2013 - by which time the Super Pit will have expanded considerably.
 
 

 

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226 Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie 6430
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