Broken Hill: Town with the Miners Memorial and Tourist Centre on mullock heap

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Comments (9)

Ian Stehbens on April 13, 2009

The city of Broken Hill grew up around the Broken Hill Proprietary Co (BHP) mines. One of the largest silver-lead-zinc mines in the world it led not only to the establishment of the town, but one of Australia's largest resource companies and manufacturing giants.

Today the mines are deep shaft mines located to the south of town, but still the town is dominated by the large mullock and slag heap. Atop the mullock heap are the miners memorial and the tourist restaurant.

Hazel Coetzee on April 14, 2009

Thanks for that info Ian - this partly answers the Smelter query.

I know what a slag heap is, but have NEVER heard of a mullock heap - it sounds as if the memorial and tourist restaurant is situated atop a heap of long extinct fish.. most intriguing.

Fond greetings, Hazel

Ian Stehbens on April 20, 2009

Dear Hazel and Paul,

I am surprised that the word mullock hasn't been a South African word, Hazel. I grew up near a gold mining town, Gympie, and mullock heaps were everywhere. Mullock = waste tailings, the rock waste that is dug out of the shafts, leads and pits of underground mining.

Broken Hill was one place in NSW that I had never visited, and I put it on my "to do" list before we left Sydney. I caught the train 13 hours west, explored for a day, and then returned on the bus/train (16 hours) on the third day. I loved the experience.

Paul, as Broken Hill is a mining town, you may be interested in some more information and I recommend the Wikipedia site.



Olga I. Yakovenko on April 28, 2009

"Broken Hill" - because people have broken it?

Ian Stehbens on May 3, 2009

NO, because the silver-lead lode outcropped above the surrounding plains here. But there have been many men who were broken by the hazards of mining, and many families broken by the temptations of an outback town. But it is a proud town with a proud history. An icon of Australian history.

Geerten on July 8, 2009

I went down the Delprat mine in 1992. Delprat was a Dutch guy, just like me....


Ian Stehbens on July 9, 2009

Gidday Geerten,

Thank you for introducing yourself to me. I have glimpsed your large gallery, and while there are many great photos in it, the first thing I noticed was that it is photos of Australia that make up many of your favourite images. And thanks too for including my image of the Cobb& Co silhouette among your favourites. You've made my day.

And as for Delprat, you will know that many Dutch guys have helped to build and form this country. And did you visit the mine or go down to work in it?


InTheBush on May 2, 2012

Indeed they have, I descend from some of those Dutch guys :-)) Love your photos Ian, and I did not know about the Tourist centre on such a good spot, but am familiar with both slag heaps and mullock heaps, being a West Australian where both terms are in widespread use...Regards Caroline

Ian Stehbens on May 5, 2012

Thanks for your response Caroline. I grew up in Gympie, where the goldminers had created their mullock heaps everywhere, but today they have all gone. Certainly gave the town a distinctive character - even if it was a bit of an eyesore. But in Broken Hill - the mullock heap stands guardian over the town and is a keeper of its history.

Migration is a essential to the economy of this country, and critical benevolence in creating a better world. What would WA be with out it!

I appreciate your affirmation of my gallery.

Warm regards from the other side.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 13, 2009
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    by Ian Stehbens