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Lady Harriet Gold Mine (Pioneer; Menzies Pioneer), Menzies, Menzies Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 29° 43' 20'' South , 121° 2' 9'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -29.72249,121.03601
GeoHash:G#: qdwnfjptz
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

The Lady Harriet Gold Mine is the first lease pegged in the Menzies area. In September 1894, J. Brown, George Kirby, and Charles Jackman left Coolgardie, and headed north by camel in search of gold. In the Menzies area, Brown wanted to investigate some hills in the distance. After much argument they headed to the location, and discovered gold the next morning. Lady Harriet is named after Brown's sister.

June 1896, the prospectors sold the mine to Florence, O'Driscoll and co., who floated a company in London called the Menzies Pioneer Ltd. They developed the deposit until June 1898. While some rich crushings were obtained, the three parallel lodes were lenticular and patchy according to the company, and they abandoned the lease.

It was subsequently mined by another London syndicate, then sold to Robert Ballard, Bell and party. Finally in the early 1900's it was sold for only 60 pounds to the remarkable Sawyer family.

The family originally came from Mount Bures England. William Sawyer jumped ship in Melbourne in 1856, and headed for the Victorian goldfields. Later he worked for the Victorian railways. Around 1895, he left with his family for the Western Australian goldfields.

William Sawyer and his six sons had been tributing on the Lady Harriet, then purchased it from Ballard. Unlike the original company, they found much gold. On the eastern lode, the company had sunk a shaft but lost the reef after 60 feet. The Sawyers sunk to 100 feet and located a 2 foot wide reef, obtaining hundreds of tonne of stone at 5 oz values.

A six month option was taken by the Lady Shenton Company headed by Richard Falconer. They failed to secure the purchase, and the Sawyers had the advantage of processing the stone left behind. The other two lodes were subsequently developed, and some nearby leases like the Menzies Alpha. The lease contained a five head battery, and crushed for the public, becoming the dominant battery in the area. The Sawyer name is attached to the battery until the late 1930's. The battery continued to operate until it closed in 1953, although the Sawyer name was not found attached to it after 1937.

William Sawyer died 22 July 1914 aged 76 years, and his wife Susannah 19 April 1921 at 71 years. They are buried at the Menzies cemetery.
The six brothers continued the family business of mining, and were at the mine for about 35 years. Several pictures of them exist on the internet. One shows four of the brothers and William in front of the mine, the brothers in their early twenties. Another is later in life with all the brothers. They were involved in the local Menzies fire brigade and roads board.

Names of the brothers are Archibald (born 1867), James (born 1870), William (Junior)(born 1872), Thomas (or possibly Ephraim Thomas)(born 1878), Charles (born 1881), Francis or Frank (born 1884), Herbert(born 1887). There were also sisters, two died as infants.

In 1996, Paddington Gold Ltd developed an open pit at the site, destroying the historic workings. This operation produced 193 184 tonnes of ore at 3.1 g/t yielding 21 212 ounces of gold.

From 1896 to 1922, the mine produced approximately 12 000 tonnes of ore for 8500 ounces of gold at 22 g/t.

The deposit is hosted in amphibolite rocks, consisting of quartz veins with alteration envelopes, plunging south-west. Pyrite and arsenopyrite are dominant, with some chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite. There is a quartz-biotite-sericite alteration zone on the edge of the mineralised unit. Intrusive feldspar porphyry bodies are present, but are not significantly mineralised.

The main mined shoot plunged 20 to 30 degrees south south-east, at the convergence of three shear zones, as a series of brittle quartz veins. There are additional small mineralised zones south of the pit, and a narrow steep dipping quartz-biotite-pyrite zone 50 metres to the north.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

8 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 784939
amphibolite 74334

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Amphibolite, mafic schist, mafic rock intercalated with granite, para-amphibolite; metabasalt, metagabbro, metapyroxenite and metadolerite; Youanmi Terrane

Comments: meta-igneous mafic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Meta-igneous mafic

Reference: Raymond, O.L., Liu, S., Gallagher, R., Zhang, W., Highet, L.M. Surface Geology of Australia 1:1 million scale dataset 2012 edition. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia). [5]

Neoarchean - Mesoarchean
2500 - 3200 Ma

ID: 3187518
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Greenstone belt; mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1907), Menzies, 12/11/1907
Western Argus newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1935), Early Days of Menzies. The First Mines, 24/09/1935
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1913), The Lady Harriet Mine. Its History and Prospects, 13/01/1913
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1954), New Battery at Menzies, 02/05/1954
Rox Resources Ltd (2004), Prospectus. Independent Geologists Report on the Menzies Project (Castle, M.), 12/02/2004

External Links


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