|Location is approximate, estimate based on other nearby localities.|
|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||29° South , 120° East (est.)|
|Margin of Error:||~20km|
|Köppen climate type:||BWh : Hot deserts climate|
The Rio Tinto was an early and rich mine on the goldfield. It was discovered by a team of prospectors from Southern Cross, consisting of Harold Cocking, Walter Williams, Allen and Herm Pearn. Williams and Allen died of thirst attempting to reach the goldfield, and all their horses died as well. The other two only just made it to Menzies.
What was left of the syndicate pegged the Rio Tinto leases in 1895, and work started on the mine the following year. 24 acres. Five shafts were sunk to 90 feet in depth on a reef up to 12 feet wide of strongly ferruginous quartz. Its dipping initially was south-west until 45 feet in depth, where the reef rolled westwards, before continuing down again. Gold was evenly distributed through the reef.
Richard Pope was an early mine manager. In 1898, the syndicate was floated as a company, with the North Boulder Company on the Golden Mile having a controlling interest.
To 1900, the mine had produced 2040 tonnes of ore yielding 2009 ounces of gold. It made Cocking in particular a rich man, who invested in the cartage and condenser business across the goldfields, making him even more money, as water was as valuable as gold in the early days of this desert region. He had emigrated from an English farm in 1892, then walked the several hundred kilometres from Perth to Southern Cross, where he had worked in the Central Mine.
Several rich crushings were produced, however after 1902, the lease was abandoned after the rich patches of ore had been removed. Connelly and Andrews in 1907 took out the dregs left.
Early sources state the mine was 2 miles north of Mt Ida and 1.5 miles north-west of the state battery. This would place the mine around the present Forrest Belle open pit, but the Rio Tinto's exact location is uncertain.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.
2 valid minerals.
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Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1901), The Rio Tinto, 19/02/1901
Western Argus newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1935), Mount Ida. Early Years, 03/12/1935
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1901), Wants of Mt. Ida, 02/03/1901
The Southern Cross Times newspaper (1904), H. Cocking. A Plucky Pioneer, 24/12/1904
The Southern Cross Times newspaper (1906), The People of Yilgarn, 22/12/1906
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1907), Menzies Mining, 22/01/1907