HEMA map reference 77/E10
28° 00' 55" S 120° 31' 19" E
Distance from Perth : 982Km.
Services : Hotel Phone : (08) 9037 5929
Once a mining town with a population of 500. All that remains today is one hotel
and a handful of hardy residents.
A post office operated at the Emu Mine and on the night of July 22nd 1937 a robbery took place netting the thief or thieves 250 pounds. The odd thing about the robbery was that whoever removed the money from the safe locked it again afterward.
Charles Farranda and Alberto Barnardi found gold north of the town in 1947 and at the time it was regarded as a significant find.
Water has always been in short supply in these inland areas and in May 1947 the town's water supply failed when the wind refused to blow for 6 days and the wind-powered bore pump could not bring water to the surface. The residents of the town were so angry that they refused to pay their water rates.
This was reported in the West Australian Newspaper as follows:
"The water supply position here is intolerable," the secretary of the Agnew Water Board (Mr. Jack Scott) said today. 'The town supply tank is empty. If we do not get a heavy wind tonight the town will have to get water from the mine tomorrow. The mine can supply us with water for drinking purposes only, as it has barely enough for its own needs." Mr. Scott said that the Under Secretary for Water Supply had informed them that the department was prepared to install an engine and shed at the bore to ensure a constant flow of water without having to depend on the wind. That had been six weeks ago, but to date no one in Agnew has heard anything further about the department's proposal. In addition the Under-Secretary had said that Mr. G. Hammond, chief engineer, would visit Agnew shortly to investigate the position, but the board had no information concerning the date of his arrival. Referring to the decision of Agnew residents to strike against the payment of rates, a decision made in the middle of May, Mr. Scott said he had not collected one penny in rates since the strike be came effective on June 1. Residents appeared firm in their intention to maintain the strike.
The Emu mine closed in 1948 and the following year the Agnew mine closed. The town's population plummeted from 150 to just 25. As with many mines on the goldfields the Agnew and Emu mines have opened and closed a number of times as the price of gold fluctuated and the methods for recovering gold improved.
(C) Max Jefferies
The mine produced 204,000 ounces of gold in 2008 and 192,000 in 2009. This was obtained from processing 1.32 million tons of ore and 1.07 million tons respectively. Despite the drop in ore production revenue increased from $188 million in 2008 to $230 million in 2009. This was due to the increasing price of gold on world markets. During the same period operating costs dropped from $115 million to $104 million. Profits from the mine in 2009 totalled $125 million.
The Australian Newspaper reported in February 2013 that the Agnew mine was still performing well. The South African based company that operates Agnew mine (Gold Fields) reports production at 160,000 ounces per year.
Open pit and underground mining are carried on at the sites being mined.
Tall tales and true: Publican's problem.
Billy Cock once owned the Agnew Hotel but he was too fond of sampling his own wares and soon found himself deep in debt. Eventually in despair, he went to the edge of a mine shaft, shot himself and fell in. His body was finally located and he had to be fished out with a grapnel. His wake was held at the hotel where Billy was laid out on a corrugated iron sheet while the last of his grog was finished up. Funeral goers even shook his hand to congratulate him on such a good wake but Billy was by now well past caring.
Billy's brother, Tommy, took over the pub but seems to have done little better financially than the late Billy.
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