# 26670


General description of the Wiluna Gold Mines Ltd, Wiluna, Western Australia. (Prepared for the Members of the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy).

$450.00 AUD

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[Wiluna, W.A.] : G. Morteson [for Wiluna Gold Mines Ltd.], [1933]. Small square quarto (245 x 210 mm), original cloth-backed paper wrappers, the upper wrapper featuring a map of Western Australia hand-drawn in black ink, with Wiluna marked in red and the names Meeka[tharra] and Laverton added later in pencil, the upper margin with typed abridged title annotated in ink ‘by G. Morteson’ (wrappers foxed and chipped, and with a very light vertical fold); [39] leaves, typescript to rectos only; a couple of leaves unevenly trimmed at bottom edges, but complete and clean throughout.

This appears to be a unique draft copy of G. Morteson’s Wiluna Gold Mines Ltd. report, which was published under exactly the same title (but without Morteson’s name) in 1933 by the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy. The final published version, which is itself rare (SLWA holds the only copy located on Trove), has [40] leaves, and contains a folding map, whereas this draft is unillustrated.

Morteson’s report has the following chapter headings: General description of the area and climateHistory of the mineOre occurenceMining methodsOre treatment – coarse crushing, grinding, flotation, filtering, roasting, cyaniding, precipitation and smeltingMiscellaneous notesMilling costs per ton of ore milled (July 1933)Power House at Wiluna Gold Mines Ltd.

Wiluna is situated on the edge of the Western Desert, on the native title of the Ngaanyatjarra people. Gold was first discovered in the area – then known as Lake Way – in 1896. Mining activity virtually ceased after World War One due to the difficulty of treating refractory ore, and the white population dropped to around 150. In 1924, however, when Claude de Bernales floated a company that would undertake a drilling program, mining at Wiluna entered its second phase. De Bernales went to London in 1926 and raised £1 million to work the Wiluna mines, and a later issue of promissory notes for £300,000 was backed by the State government. The Wiluna mine reopened in 1931 and within a few years was yielding £3 million of gold annually. Around the time Morteson compiled his report, Wiluna’s white population would have numbered in the several thousands.