Broken Hill mining history

old mining equipment
October 18, 2017 Blog, October

Broken Hill mining history

Broken Hill mining history is one of those subjects everybody was taught about at school. It is Australia’s most famous digging settlement, an historic town there for you to explore.

But as the digging slows – the history grows.

A walk down the main street today reveals architecture in keeping with the mining days of ‘boom and bust’. At the same time, Broken Hill provides new and adapted businesses catering to tourists who have come to see the history.

Streetscapes are a Broken Hill draw card.

The contrast between quality urban streetscapes and the nearby mining operations makes the mining history highly accessible. The main street is a visual feast of grand boom-era buildings, the laneways a quirky mishmash of corrugated iron and weathered bricks.

The birthplace of BHP – the ‘Line of Lode’

“The Line of Lode always visible dominates the town as a constant reminder of what Broken Hill was born of”. It is here that the rich history of Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) began in 1885.

After more than 130 years of mining silver, lead and zinc in Broken Hill along the 7.5 km and 1.6km deep ‘Line of Lode’, 300 million tonnes of ore has been taken out generating over $100 billion!! This wealth contributed significantly to Australia’s economy and growth.

In 1982, Geoffrey Blainey said “No other single mining field of the future will ever exert as much influence on Australian life as has Broken Hill.”

Miners were important to this history

Labour unions were a big part of Broken Hill’s history.
Unions were formed in the dark shadow of countless miners tragically losing their lives to lead poisoning, lung conditions and freak underground accidents.

The Miners Memorial atop the Line of Lode overlooking the town is an enduring and must-see testimony to this sad part of Broken Hill’s history.
Workers sacrificed salaries and freedom during extended strikes to fight for better working conditions that overcame or rewarded the adverse conditions.

The call to action

History awaits – come and enjoy the historical highs and lows on your next holiday.

The Lodge Outback Motel awaits your call.