June marks an exciting moment for Western Australia’s Golden Mile with the pouring of the 60 millionth ounce of gold from Australia’s richest goldfield, Western Australia’s famous Golden Mile. It is also a significant moment in history for KCGM. Twenty million ounces of gold have been produced by the company since 1989 which is included within the 60 million ounce milestone for the Golden Mile.
“The Golden Mile has a fascinating history, with an abundance of colourful mining characters and even more colourful yarns. I am extremely proud to be associated with KCGM as we pour this historically significant ounce. It was over 114 years ago that the area produced its record of 1,225,700 ounces from a grade of 34.4g per tonne in 1903. In 2016, production was 764,000 ounces with an average mined grade of 1.92gpt and average head grade of 2.19gpt” said KCGM General Manager Ian Butler. The Kalgoorlie Boulder mining area was born during a period of Australia-wide depression and has been one of the few mining districts in the world to be worked continuously for more than 124 years. It is considered one of the top five richest areas of gold-bearing ground in the world.
The original location of the Golden Mile in 1897 was from Hannan’s Brownhill, Paringa, North Kalgurli and Brookmans Boulder at the north end through to Lake View South, Boulder Main Reef and Chaffers at the south end. Over time it was extended to also include Croesus (Kallaroo) at the north through to the Imperial and Hannan’s Star at the south. This equates to a distance of about 3.8km – more than two miles. Although not technically part of the Golden Mile, Mount Charlotte also has been entwined with Australia’s most prolific gold district.
The Golden Mile, formerly home to more than 80 underground gold mines, is now jointly owned by Newmont Australia and Barrick, and operated by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM). The area includes the open cut ‘Super Pit,’ which is also now an important tourist attraction for visitors to the region, along with Mt Charlotte’s underground operation to the north.
When KCGM reached the 50 million ounce milestone in 2003, the former General Manager John Shipp said, “We also intend to be here for the 60 millionth!” That milestone will be reached this year as KCGM continues to be an important part of the local community and a key economic catalyst for the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder as well as the Australian economy. With new exploration and other sustainability initiatives continuing, KCGM has its sights set
on reaching the 70 millionth milestone.