Hannans North Tourist Mine

No visit to Kalgoorlie is complete without a visit to Hannans North Tourist Mine, one of the first registered mines in Kalgoorlie.

The history of Hannans North’s evolution into a tourist mine began in the early days of Kalgoorlie’s gold rush…

We’re open 7 days a week, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with our last admission at 3:30 PM. We cater to all fitness levels.

Experiences

We offer self-guided and self guided group tours wherein you can experience historical buildings, gold panning and modern day mining.

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Experience a vibrant mix of gold rush history and modern day mining at Hannans North Tourist Mine. #hannansnorthtouristmine

Hannans North Tourist Mine

Explore the underground at Kanowna Belle gold mine near Kalgoorlie

Underground at kanowna belle gold mine.

Spacious, clean, and a workshop big enough for all the toys.

These are phrases one might associate with real estate marketing, but this is no house.

Varied lights create plenty of colour in Kanowna Belle's tunnels.

It is an underground mine right here in the Goldfields.

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We are 1km underground at Northern Star Resources’ Kanowna Belle gold project, 19km north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Ventilation ducts running down the mine shaft at Kanowna Belle.

Shadow cabinet members have been invited down here to gain a first-hand to get a glimpse into the industry which has been integral to WA’s economy for more than 100 years.

The mine which has been in production for more than 25 years, and has changed hands on several occasions.

A bogger sitting at the entrance to Kanowna Belle's underground workshop.

Northern Star acquired the operations in 2014 and has trumpeted its potential to keep producing until it is at least 40 years old.

Northern Star Kalgoorlie operations general manager Jim Coxon said visits such as this helped lift the shroud of mystery surrounding underground mining.

A jumbo at work deep underground at Kanowna Belle.

“Often the resources sector and underground mining is seen as a bit of a black art,” he said.

“We wanted them to come out here, see what we do, the efficiencies, the productivities, the advancements we do and how we do it because as Northern Star, and industry, we are pretty proud of that.

Norther Star's underground workshop at Kanowna Belle saves vehicles from having to travel above ground for servicing.

“If we can get these guys to understand our business, understand what we want and how we operate, that can only help us in the long term.”

Shadow mines and petroleum minister Bill Marmion said the experience gave him a better understanding of skills required in underground mining.

Shutdown on a drill rig drilling for core samples underground.

“To see all the equipment operating, you really respect the experience and skills of the operators down there,” he said.

“It is not as confined space as I thought it would be.”

Mr Marmion said Kanowna Belle’s underground workshop was particularly impressive.

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Kalgoorlie Super Pit – Gold Mining On A Massive Scale

Approaching Kalgoorlie from Norseman , you’ll notice an enormous tailings heap on your right. This goes on seemingly forever. Welcome to the Kalgoorlie Super Pit!

Viewing From Above

How did this begin, parting words.

As you get to the outskirts of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, there’s a Super Pit viewing area on your right. Once you reach the viewing area, you’ll quickly realise one simple fact.

The Kalgoorlie Super Pit is mind-blowingly big.

The viewing area. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

In fact, it’s so big that you’ll have trouble getting your head around the sheer scale of this giant hole in the ground. Enormous mining equipment appears as tiny ants crawling over a huge hole. At first it looks like chaos. But then you start to make out vague patterns of where the trucks are going to and from.

And go back there at night. It looks like another world, a scene from a fantasy movie.

Work continues through the night. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

You’ll actually figure out what’s happening more easily at night. We realised there were four huge excavators and the dump trucks were peeling off then going to the respective excavator.

In between the huge trucks, an enormous grader darts all over the place, keeping the roads maintained. This looks like dangerous work.

When you’re gazing into the Super Pit, you’re actually looking at Kalgoorlie’s famed Golden Mile.

Gold nuggets were discovered on the surface in the 1880’s. Paddy Hannan is credited with the original discovery. Paddy did pretty well for himself, taking over 100 ounces from the Golden Mile.

The first miners had a bonanza, collecting nuggets from the surface. Of course, these quickly disappeared as word spread. With a full-on gold rush under way, thousands of hopefuls flocked to Kalgoorlie seeking their fortune.

The surface nuggets rapidly disappeared, so the miners did what miners do… they started digging.

But when they started digging, they couldn’t find any gold. Eventually someone realised the gold was in tiny specks almost too small to see and they had been throwing it away with the tailings. So the miners revised their gold recovery methods and the rush started in earnest.

Fast forward to the 1980’s. Failed businessman Alan Bond saw an opportunity. He had a vision to buy up all the individual mining leases on the Golden Mile and amalgamate them into one giant mine. While Bond was unable to complete this vision, a subsequent venture succeeded and the Kalgoorlie Super Pit was born.

Look carefully in the photos and you’ll see holes in the cliff faces. They are old tunnels and shafts. The Super Pit has hundreds of old tunnels, exposed on the cliff faces.

Dump truck crawling up the haul road. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

These were dug mainly by hand through rock. Some of the shafts are up to 1,600 metres (1 mile) deep.

And the shafts and tunnels are full of old timber supports and steel. The timber is covered in arsenic to ward off termites and very few of the mines are accurately mapped.

About 3,500km of tunnels were dug by hand in the area now covered by the Super Pit. This is approximately the distance between Kalgoorlie and Sydney in a straight line.

All of this adds up to a giant headache for the modern miners.  Every blast has to be carefully surveyed before charges are laid, as an unidentified void could have disastrous consequences. The timber supports and old steel cause headaches for the giant excavators as they load the ore into trucks.

Blasting. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

Then once the load arrives at the top of the pit, the timber and steel has to be removed manually. It’s dumped then labourers sort through it by hand or remove the heaviest bits with a front end loader. Wouldn’t that be a fun job in the middle of Summer…

Some of the rubbish from old mine shafts. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

We did a tour of the mine. You get a close-up perspective of what a massive operation this is. This tour is excellent and we highly recommend it.

The mine itself is around 3.5 km long by 1.5 km wide and over 600 metres deep. The Golden Mile is actually about 2 km wide, to a depth of 1 km. The Mt Charlotte underground mine is at the northern end of the Super Pit. From the viewing area, you’ll see trucks disappearing into the earth way in the distance. They are hauling out of Mt Charlotte.

Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

Groundwater is about 60 metres down and is nine times more salty than ocean water.

Because Kalgoorlie is such an arid environment, this salty groundwater is used to wet down the roads. In this environment, the dump trucks survive for about 8 years before they are too badly corroded to continue service.

Water truck. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

When the mine eventually closes, the pit will be allowed to fill with this salty groundwater and form a salt lake. Then if mining again becomes viable in the future, they can pump out the water and start mining again.

Up close, the dump trucks are huge. They carry 200 tonnes and are mostly driven by women. Apparently they are cleaner, gentler on the equipment and have a better ear for detecting mechanical problems.

Dump truck. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

These trucks travel at 40 km/h down into the pit, 10 km/h out of the pit and around 60 km/h on the flat when empty.

When a driver is due for a break or change of shift, they drive up to an elevated platform beside the amenities and canteen facilities. One driver steps out and another one steps in. This keeps the trucks moving 24/7.

On average, each 200 tonne load contains a minuscule quantity of gold, all in minute specks not visible to the human eye.

So every massive 200 tonne load you see being hauled out of the Kalgoorlie Super Pit contains about the equivalent volume of 3 or 4 strips of chewing gum in gold.

It's a long way down. Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

Of course, every load adds up over time. They mine about $2 million worth of gold every day. To me, this doesn’t seem much when you see the infrastructure needed to achieve this. The overheads must be massive.

Kalgoorlie Super Pit is quite simply staggering. Photos and videos don’t do justice to the scale of this operation. If you get a chance, have a look!

Kalgoorlie is on Wangkatja Country.

TourRadar offer a great range of deals on tours in and around Kalgoorlie .

Next time we check out Kalgoorlie and discover an unexpected family link to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

kalgoorlie underground mine tour

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Super Pit Lookout

Western Australia

The view is staggering here, with building-sized trucks zigzagging up and down the huge hole and looking like kids' toys. Gawp at the vast gold mine from above or get closer by taking a fascinating mine tour with Kalgoorlie Tours & Charters .

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https://www.superpit.com.au/community/lookout

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Northern Star Resources Limited

Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) Operations is a world class asset located adjacent to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder approximately 600 kilometres east of Perth, Western Australia. The KCGM Operations include the Fimiston Open Pit (Super Pit), Mt Charlotte Underground Mine and the Fimiston and Gidji Processing Plants.

The 1893 gold rush resulted in the discovery of the Golden Mile, one of the richest gold deposits in the world. In 1903 there were 49 operating mines, 100 headframes and more than 3,000 kilometres of underground workings on the Golden Mile. In the 1980’s, WA businessman Alan Bond started to buy up the individual leases along the Golden Mile with the aim to consolidate them into a single company. While Bond’s company failed to complete the takeover, the entire area was combined in 1989. Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd (KCGM) was formed to manage the KCGM Operations owned by joint venture parties Normandy Australia Limited and Homestake Gold of Australia Limited. Existing smaller pits were amalgamated into the Super Pit. All underground operations were phased out except for the Mt Charlotte Underground Mine, and the Fimiston and Gidji processing plants were constructed. In 2019 KCGM celebrated its 30th anniversary and poured its 50,000th bar of gold, bringing the total produced from the Golden Mile to over 60 million ounces in the 120 years since the lease was first pegged. Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Goldcorp Corporation owned the KCGM Operations in a 50:50 joint venture until November 2019 and January 2020, when they sold their 50:50 interests in the KCGM Operations to Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (Saracen) and Northern Star respectively. The KCGM Operations became 100% Australian-owned for the first time in its 31-year history on 3 January 2020. When the merger by Scheme of Arrangement between Northern Star and Saracen was implemented on 12 February 2021, the KCGM Operations became controlled by a single entity, Northern Star, for the first time in its history.

GEOLOGY & MINERALISATION The Golden Mile at the centre of the Kalgoorlie Goldfield is one of the richest gold deposits in the world. The Kalgoorlie Goldfield is part of the Norseman-Wiluna Belt, a greenstone belt consisting of volcanic and sedimentary rocks and surrounded by extensive granite. These rocks all belong to the Archaean period of the Earth’s history and the goldfield is between 2.6 and 2.9 billion years old. The stratigraphy of the Kalgoorlie area consists of a 1,500m thick stratigraphic succession of mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks that are unconformably overlain by a 3,000m thick succession of volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The volcanic rocks include lavas and pyroclastic flows. This succession is interbedded with siltstone and sandstone, and is unconformably overlain locally by a unit of poorly sorted sandstone and conglomerates.

The deposit is composed of a series of mineralised faults which are known as lodes and were formed by ancient shears, mainly occurring in a host rock known as the Golden Mile Dolerite. There are two main styles of mineralisation: The Fimiston Style consists of classic Golden Mile lodes with abundant sulphides and tellurides. The Charlotte Style consists of younger white quartz veins and is typically mined at Mt Charlotte but has been found in other smaller deposits in the area. More than 1,000 individual ore lodes occur within the Golden Mile, some extending up to 1,800 metres long, 1,200 metres deep and 10 metres wide. They are within an area over 5 kilometres long, 1 kilometre wide and more than 1 kilometre deep.

MINING The KCGM Operations are simple, large-scale mining operations. The vast underground network of historical workings throughout the Golden Mile has shaped the way the Super Pit has been mined during the past 30 years. Mining methods have also been governed by the proximity of the Super Pit to Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Mining the Super Pit is a carefully planned sequence involving cooperation across a wide range of departments, specialist teams and partner contractors. Each has their part to play, from geology, environment, mine planning and survey teams to drillers, blasting engineers and the giant shovels and haul trucks which transport waste for disposal and ore for processing.

PROCESSING The Fimiston processing plant treats more than 13 million tonnes of ore from Fimiston and Mt Charlotte. The Fimiston plant was commissioned in 1989 and has since undergone two expansions to become one of the largest milling complexes in Australia.

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Visit Kalgoorlie – The mining town in the heart of Australia’s Far West

Visit Kalgoorlie – The mining town in the heart of Australia’s Far West

Lost in the middle of the desert, the small town of Kalgoorlie is not one of Australia’s most famous travel destinations. However, this mining town has a unique atmosphere. It’s well worth stopping by on a road trip through South West Australia .

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Kalgoorlie: The Wild West of Australia

When you arrive in “Kal” – as Kalgoorie is called by the locals – it quickly becomes clear: things are different here compared to the rest of Australia. Huge trucks, off-road vehicles, miners in high vis gear and gold traders wherever you look. 25 percent of the local population here (about 10,000 out of 40,000 inhabitants) work in the mining industry . Many settled in 1893 after gold was discovered in the area.

kalgoorlie underground mine tour

To get your visit to this city, which will certainly transport back you to one of the Western films of your childhood, off to a good start, head to the Visitor Centre. It is located at the very end of Hannan Street, the main street. In this very beautiful building, you will find many local souvenirs such as Aboriginal art as well as gold in different forms . This is where you can book quite original guided tours! For example, you can visit an authentic brothel ($30/person). “Questa Casa” aka the “Pink House” is still in operation today but its origin dates back to the famous gold rush. Obviously, this “activity” is not to everyone’s taste, but it is unique.

Head to Relish for breakfast or lunch. This very cosy little restaurant (also located on the main street) offers delicious homemade recipes. You are bound to find something to your liking on the menu – which is printed inside a children’s storybook .

Afterwards, take the time to soak up the city’s unique atmosphere by walking up the endless Hannan Street. This street is lined with historic hotels, some dating back over 120 years , which is quite rare in Australia. The bewildering number of hotels comes from the fact that Kalgoorlie played host to the Great Australian Gold Rush in 1893. Attracted by the nuggets and veins of gold , thousands of Australians rushed to the region with women and children in the hope of making their fortune . Many died of thirst before pipes had time to bring water from the coast. Interesting fact: at the time, beer was actually cheaper than water!

A trip into the past

To discover the history of the Gold Rush and learn more about the living conditions of the time, don’t miss the Museum of the Goldfields . The museum is open daily (10am to 3 pm) and admission is free (donations welcome). Here you can admire the largest collection of gold bars and nuggets in the state . Old tools and everyday objects from the time are also on display, and photos bear witness to what life was like at that time. Allow 2 or 3 hours for your visit.

Immerse yourself in the heart of the ancestral life of the miners by strolling through authentic old houses, as well as a hotel and several 19th century shops which now been restored.

If you are interested in history, you can learn more about the relationship between settlers and aborigines through testimonies. Be aware that this is a sensitive subject in the town of Kalgoorlie. Indeed, the Aboriginal population is large there and has had to learn to live with other inhabitants. You will understand that relations between the two communities are still delicate today.

Top tip: Before leaving the museum, be sure to check out the view of Kalgoorlie from the top of the platform!

kalgoorlie underground mine tour

The Super Pit Gold Mine

This huge gold mine is 600m deep, 1.5km wide and 3.5km long . Until 1989, it was made up of 8 underground mines . They were then unified into a single open pit mine . According to legend, it’s actually visible from space !

You can spend some time watching these impressive trucks carrying tons of rocks. If you want to observe them more closely, you can visit Hannans North Tourist Mine (open every day except Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm). Admission will cost you $15. You can climb inside the trucks and have your picture taken. Several different experiences are available, including exploring an old miners’ camp and old trucks during a visit to an underground refuge chamber. The highlight: trying out the job of a gold miner and searching the ground with your sieve!

kalgoorlie underground mine tour

A unique walk

If you didn’t manage to strike gold, cheer yourself up with a gourmet lunch at Just A Little Cafe. Then, drop by Fossick & Co, a lovely gift shop that sells a selection of jewellery, beauty products and more. Everything is handmade locally.

See the city centre from a different perspective by walking along the Heartwalk, where you will find magnificent multicolored murals inspired by Aboriginal art. To make sure you don’t miss any of the works, head to the Visitor Centre for a map that lists them all.

Round off your stay in this atmospheric city with a stroll through Hammond Park. Rest and take the time to observe nature all around you. Here you will observe emus, peacocks and kangaroos by the dozen.

Thanks to the influence of the mining industry, Kalgoorlie has continued to thrive over the years, but other towns have not been so lucky. You’ll certainly pass some of these “ghost towns” on your way to Kalgoorlie – it’s up to you whether you want to visit there or not.

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The Local Council is the real problem, in the past 6 years this , wonderful Twin City of Kalgoorlie Boulder has lost the Historic Tourism side of Kalgoorlie-Boulder mainly due to mismanagement, it is more interested in major Commercial companies that support and sell products of low quality from foreign lands, the main drivers of this Council is from the direction of the CEO, Mayor and the stagnant long term Councillors, who are more comfortable sitting and listening but not doing, we have tried as residents in the Community , even the intimidation of Council in Council is hidden even after someone had the courage to speak up that suspended the CEO , and yet this was not revealed to the Community.

Hi David, Thank you for sharing your impression here 🙂

We may improve of late the Council is under review,this could be the recovery we need We have missed the Tourism not as a result of the Covid virus but we are working hard and this coming summer should be coming back to normal we do have much to offer and most resident are only to happy to set you right,. Just ask .

Fingers crossed everything goes back to normal soon 🙂

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COMMENTS

  1. Hannans North Tourist Mine

    Hours are subject to change- contact us for more information. Adult $16.00. Senior/Concession $14.00 (Valid ID Required) Child $9.00 (5-15 years) Family $47.00 (2 adults and up to 4 children) Companion Card Affiliated. Hannans North Tourist Mine provides a lifetime opportunity to tour the famous, historical Golden Mile in Kalgoorlie, WA.

  2. Super Pit Tours

    Note: Tour departures shown with orange background have less than 10 seats available. By Phone - Please call our booking office on 1800 620 441. In Person - Visit our booking office at 250 Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie. Book Now! Super Pit Tour 2.5 Hour - Open Pit & Milling Operations.

  3. Super Pit Tour with Kalgoorlie Tours & Charters

    SUPER PIT TOUR 2.5 Hours. 2.5 Hours - Please check availability for departure times. Come and experience a tour of Australia's largest. gold producing mine, the Super Pit. Click book now to check the availability of all our day tours. Bookings can be made up to 4 weeks in advance. We strongly recommend booking at least 2 days in advance to ...

  4. Hannans North Tourist Mine

    Book your experience with a trusted local today. Book Now. Phone. +61 8 9021 1966. Email. [email protected]. No visit to Kalgoorlie Boulder is complete without a visit to Hannans North Tourist Mine, where you will experience a vibrant mix of gold rush history and modern day mining. During your visit you can.

  5. Super Pit Tour

    Description. Hours: Monday to Friday, 8.45am - 4.30pm, Saturday 8.45am - 2.00pm. Throw on a high visibility vest and safety glasses and come and experience a tour of Australia's largest gold producing mine, the Super Pit. You will be visitor inducted to the KCGM Super Pit and view the mining and milling operations through the Fimiston Milling ...

  6. Super Pit Tours

    Note: Tour departures shown with orange background have less than 10 seats available. By Phone - Please call our booking office on 1800 620 441. In Person - Visit our booking office at 250 Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie. Book Now! Super Pit Tour 1.5 Hour - Open Pit Operations.

  7. Site Tours

    The tours depart at 9am, 10am and 11am. Tickets are available from the Hannans North Tourist Mine, off the Goldfields Highway from 8.30am and are provided on a first come first served basis. KCGM also provides site access to local tourism provider Kalgoorlie Tours and Charters which runs regular tours for visitors to our region.

  8. Hannans North Tourist Mine

    Hannans North Tourist Mine, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. 4,345 likes · 68 talking about this · 5,407 were here. Hannans North Tourist Mine provides self-guided tours with a vibrant mix of historic...

  9. Explore the underground at Kanowna Belle gold mine near Kalgoorlie

    We are 1km underground at Northern Star Resources' Kanowna Belle gold project, 19km north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Ventilation ducts running down the mine shaft at Kanowna Belle. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr/Kalgoorlie Miner, Tom Zaunmayr. Shadow cabinet members have been invited down here to gain a first-hand to get a glimpse into the industry ...

  10. Kalgoorlie Super Pit

    You get a close-up perspective of what a massive operation this is. This tour is excellent and we highly recommend it. The mine itself is around 3.5 km long by 1.5 km wide and over 600 metres deep. The Golden Mile is actually about 2 km wide, to a depth of 1 km. The Mt Charlotte underground mine is at the northern end of the Super Pit.

  11. Kalgoorlie underground mine tour

    Patrick (Paddy) Hannan discovered gold in the area that was to become Kalgoorlie in 1893, soon after this (6 months), the first mine was started. Now located...

  12. Super Pit Lookout

    The first Super Pit Lookout was a fenced area with a small viewing platform constructed 100m south of the original Hainault Tourist Mine, near the Boulder Block. Over the years the Lookout has been moved to accommodate the changing pit and is now at the top of Outram Street in Boulder (off the Goldfields Highway, 6.4km south of Hannan Street ...

  13. Hannans North Tourist Mine

    We offer self-guided and group tours wherein you can experience historical buildings, gold panning and modern day mining. Ph: (08) 9022 1664. ... The recently closed Hainault shaft was identified as ideal for showcasing underground mining on Kalgoorlie's famous Golden Mile. The Hainault shaft was originally pegged in 1893 and was a working ...

  14. Super Pit Lookout

    8. Goldfields Museum & Visitor Centre. 23.13 MILES. Inside the visitor centre, you can bone up on the 1892 Coolgardie gold rush, marvel at the size of the Golden Eagle nugget, peruse ye olde apothecary…. View more attractions. The view is staggering here, with building-sized trucks zigzagging up and down the huge hole and looking like kids' toys.

  15. Home

    Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) Operation is a world class asset located adjacent to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder approximately 600 kilometres east of Perth, Western Australia. KCGM Operations include the Fimiston Open Pit (Super Pit), Mt Charlotte Underground Mine and the Fimiston and Gidji Processing Plants.

  16. Tours

    Book your experience with a trusted local today. Book Now. Phone. +61 8 9021 1966. Email. [email protected]. Experience the beauty of Kalgoorlie Boulder, a thriving city in the Goldfields-Esperance region. We have a wide range of exciting tours.

  17. Things to do in Kalgoorlie

    Gold Town Discovery Tour. On this 3 hour Gold Town Discovery Tour you will uncover the hidden secrets of Kalgoorlie-Boulder past and present and we will show you the intriguing and unique places that will leave you inspired and in awe. Find our more about this tour. Sightseeing and Day Tours on offer in Kalgoorlie Things to do in Kalgoorlie.

  18. Visitor Guide to Kalgoorlie: the Heart of the Golden Outback

    Kalgoorlie-Boulder is 596 kilometres (370 miles) inland from Perth via the Great Eastern Highway. ... Dive into the depths of history with an underground mine tour and gain firsthand knowledge about the miner's life. Kalgoorlie Boulder Visitor Centre: Kickstart your exploration of Kalgoorlie here. Packed with resources, maps, and local ...

  19. About

    Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) Operations is a world class asset located adjacent to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder approximately 600 kilometres east of Perth, Western Australia. The KCGM Operations include the Fimiston Open Pit (Super Pit), Mt Charlotte Underground Mine and the Fimiston and Gidji Processing Plants. The 1893 gold rush resulted in the discovery […]

  20. Visit Kalgoorlie: The mining Town of Australia

    Visit Kalgoorlie - The mining town in the heart of Australia's Far West. Australia Backpackers Guide. -. March 10, 2023. 4. Lost in the middle of the desert, the small town of Kalgoorlie is not one of Australia's most famous travel destinations. However, this mining town has a unique atmosphere. It's well worth stopping by on a road ...