Iron Knob Progress Association - Preserving our past, forging our future.
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History of Iron Knob - page 3
Iron Knob Banner images from Iron Knob and surrounding area
1891 Markets for Iron Stone were lacking. This year saw the movement of 7000 tonnes of Iron Stone. The Ore was taken by wagons and bullock  teams to Port Augusta for shipment by train to Port Pirie to be used as flux. It took the wagons 2 days to complete the trip to Port Augusta of in temperatures in excess of 100 F. They also had to carry with them water for man and beast. Wages at this time were in the region of 7/2d per day.

This was followed by a very round-about trip by rail through Pichi Richi Pass via Quorn to Orroroo to Petersburg (now known as Peterborough and then down the Broken Hill railway line to Port Pirie. This costly exercise must have been time consuming and expensive.

Some 100,000 tons of ore was transported in this manner before 1900 at what was then a considerable cost.

The Pinnacles Mining Company also had leases on the hill about the same time as the Mount Minden Mining Company. They were searching for more valuable minerals. The Mount Minden Mining Company was aware that quite a substantial amount of ironstone of viable quality was present and tried to interest other in the Iron Knob development, but the then economic climate made it an unattractive proposition.

1894            Richard Hematite Burchett claimed that his father, Federick Charles Burchett was the original founder of Iron Knob. He stated that he was also the first-born child there and was christened Hematite after the ironstone. Apparently Mr. Kingham, Mr. Burchett
and Mr. Pappin were part of a syndicate. 10

A Mr. Kingham reported that Mr. F.C. Burchett had pegged the Iron Knob in 1894, prospected it for 2 years and came to the conclusion that it was a large mountain of ore present.

1895             Mount Minden Mining Company had exhausted its funds and was falling behind with its mining lease rentals and was failing to comply with labour conditions of the lease.

The labour conditions mentioned were quite specific in the Crown Lease requirements, i.e. '....during the continuance of the term work and carry on such mines in a fair orderly skilful and workmanlike manner and also will during the term of the lease employ and keep continuously employed not less than one man for every 10 acres of the land herby demised in mining for metals and minerals not being gold coal or mineral oil upon the said land and will whenever there unto required by the said Minister furnish him with satisfactory evidence that such a number of men have been  and are so employed due allowance being made by the said Minister for machinery or horses employed a the rate of two men for each horsepower '. It is fairly obvious that the number of men employed did not meet the above criteria as well as the rent for the lease had not been paid for three years.

The Hundred of Randell was proclaimed. 5

5  -  '60 Years of Whyalla' - 1974
11- ' Ribbon of Steel ' by Sue Scheiffers
12 -' Iron Ore mining in  South Australia ' - LPD BHP Steel.
14- ' Our Hidden Past ' Colin Stanton, 1970
13 - ' Ribbon of Steel ' by Sue Scheiffers 
Photographs from
BHP Archives