Mt. Goldsworthy in 1963


20 20 37 S 119 31 13 E







Once a mining town with a population of about 700, Goldsworthy no longer exists. All that remains to mark the town is a row of trees by the road.

Goldsworthy was the first town built specifically for iron ore workers. It was named after Mt. Goldsworthy that in turn was named after Roger Tuckfield Goldsworthy, Colonial Secretary in the 1880s.

Geologists surveying the area in 1938 estimated that over 6,000,000 tons of 65.66% grade iron ore was present at this site but due to an embargo on the export of iron ore in the lead up to WWII, there was no call for the area to be mined. It was not until 1960, when the embargo was lifted, that the iron ore industry started to expand.

An Aboriginal enterprise called the Pindan Group, applied for a license to operate a mine and export the ore at Goldsworthy but was not successful.

Mount Goldsworthy Mining Associates began exploration in 1962 and the W.A. government gave approval for the project in 1964. Construction began in 1965 and everything had to be brought in to the site.


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Just 4 weeks prior to the first shipment of ore, cyclone Shirley crossed the coast and the damage to rail lines delayed the shipment until June 1966. On June 3rd the bulk carrier Harvey S. Mudd sailed from Port Hedland with 25,300 tonnes of iron ore and Western Australia's iron ore industry had officially started.

Before mining took place, Mt Goldsworthy was 132 metres high, now it is just a big hole in the ground. The name was originally given to the mountain by Alexander Forrest in 1879.

During its operation, the Goldsworthy mine produced about 4 million tons of iron ore per year.

Mining ceased on the 22nd of December 1982 but Goldsworthy continued to operate as a support base for Shay Gap until all operations finally ceased and the buildings were removed in 1992.


Mt. Goldsworthy in 2009






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