The Mighty Murray River!

The Mighty Murray River!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rest day at Mount Morgan - day 3

Today I went on the TMC tour of Mount Morgan.  Although the 'C' part of the tour which is the caverns is no longer part of the tour as there was a rock cave in and the Queensland government decided it wasn't safe for it to be open, it is the part of the tour that deals with the dinosaurs.  However we did do the town and mine part of the tour.
Most of the town I had seen but it is good being on a tour as there is more explanation like there is an abundunce of Mango trees around town which is from the Chinese produce days which kept the town fed during the mining era.  There are also lychee and other fruits that like the warmer climate.
One stop was up to the lookout that we had already cycled up and the mini bus did struggle just like Neil and I!
Just down from that is the remains of the last swing bridge and just below that you can see a pool of water from the Dee river that is contaminated.  This is at the south end of town and the Dee river is contaminated basically from the mine and south.  The no.7 dam we swim in is north of the mine so it is not contaminated.
 Once we have seen all the town buildings we head to the mine which is gated so to go in you have to be on this tour or a tradie doing repair or environmental work at the mine.  The first building is the gold shed which is where they stored all the gold.  It was heavily guarded on the outside and hence there was no robbery from the outside it all happened from the inside coming out!
 It is like many other coal mines and there are slag heaps here and there with trees and grass growing around them.
 They open up part of the existing buildings as a museum of sorts and it is all heritage listed.  There is everything in there from plans, to rocks, to equipment used by the men in the mines as well as in the administration.  This is a map of the basic excavation ... the shading of pink is Iron mountain and what they intend to take away up to the year it was drawn ... they took out alot more!
 I can't remember what this stones are used for apart from to grinding the ore to a powder ... why they did that I sort of missed.  It wasn't for the gold as that was chemically removed.
 so this is the rock they were mining for ... to look at it you would think nothing of it but smart people back then developed a way to chemically take the gold out of the stone.  These were NOT gold nuggets like how gold was mined in Bendigo.
 by turning up all the soil etc it produced alot of this ... fools gold and once exposed to air that is where the leaching of the poisons into the environment and water occured.
 some miners gear ...
 the payroll office
 the laptop of 1965!

 check out the price of this basic accounting computer $32,150.00  WOW!
And a pocket calculator ...
 This is the safe room that contained all the blueprints, maps and important paper work, accounts etc.  It was fire and bomb safe!
 after looking inside you are taken on a tour in the bus around the grounds ... this is the first general managers residence ...
 a contaminated dam
 part of the structure around the working mine.  Inside would be all the smeltering etc and whatever else they had to do to get the gold and later copper out!
 some of the equipment used ...
 I think this is a smeltering pot
 a Caterpillar bulldozer!
 part of the work shed ...
 after that you are taken to a see a view of the actual open cut mine ... this is the left
 and the right ...
 that chimney stack I keep photographing!
 and at the expense of the Queensland government - the lime processing plant that is added to the water to fix it ... it is then pumped into 3 evaporation pipes that look like geysers (I took the photo of that the other day) so the water is evaporated ... one and the only way they are getting rid of this contaminated water
 this photo is interesting ... on the left you will see a dark mound ... this is the remains of Iron Mountain, it is well above the 70m chimney ... so they dug that all out including what is below the water line ... so from the top of the mountain to the waterline is 100m and then below the waterline is a further 200m!!! OMG they removed an entire mountain!
 just a reminder of that plan with the pink shading of Iron Mountain.
This tour is a real eye opener in just how dangerous mining can be to the environment and people.  The excuse is that they didn't know that their mining processes way back a century ago would do this much damage ... funny how the mining companies are saying the same thing now ... when will they learn!

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