|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||30° 47' 26'' South , 121° 30' 2'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-30.79058,121.50067|
|Köppen climate type:||BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate|
The Golden Horseshoe was one of the richest mines in Western Australia, and one of the most dangerous places to work.
The lease is in the south-west area of the Golden Mile, with the Chaffers lease bordering to the south, Great Boulder to the east, and Ivanhoe to the north.
The Golden Horseshoe Estates Ltd worked the mine from 1895 to 1928. A post hole was dug for a telephone pole in 1898, and rich alluvial gold was uncovered. The lease was invaded by alluvial miners, much to the annoyance of the company who needed the land to erect a battery.
A 20 head battery was still erected in 1898, expanded to 30 heads shortly after. The Ivanhoe South Extended lease was purchased in 1909, with its plant for 35 071 pounds. Large cracks began to appear at the surface in 1910, which proceeded in a westerly direction towards Boulder, and threatened to swallow the railway line. This temporarily closed the main shaft, and an army of men set about supporting the workings with wooden beams.
Between 1899 to 1924, shareholders received 3.5 million pounds in dividends. The mine had produced to 1926 12.5 million ounces of gold.
The company suffered losses in 1924 and 1925, and the mine closed in 1926. The lease still contained an immense body of ore, but increased working costs led to its demise.
The Lakeview and Star Company took over the lease in 1928, and was active on it across the 1930's, however activity was largely confined to reprocessing the huge tailings dump. A separate company was spun off by Lake View called the Golden Horseshoe (New) Limited to operate the lease.
Mention needs to be made over the appalling loss of life on the mine, on par with its neighbour the Chaffers mine in the 1930's.
Jason Purcell was killed by a fall of earth underground in 1901.
Andrew McCombe (30), originally from Ireland, fell 100 feet down a winze, and died in 1903. There had been planks across the opening, but these had been moved, the result of effects of nearby explosives being set off. In the darkness McCombe did not see the shaft.
Louis Evans died in 1904 after being caught in moving belting in the plant.
William Gill Thomas (45) fainted and fell out of the cage in 1907, and was found dead at the bottom of the shaft.
John Murray (45) was killed when he fell down the shaft in 1909.
William Bains died underground in 1910 from a fall of earth.
George Barlow, Timothy Murphy and Austrian Sam Bosandish were working at the 1600 foot level in 1911. A stage had been constructed holding a drilling rig. The men were working underneath when a fall of earth caused the stage to collapse on top of them. Barlow's arm had to be amputated but he subsequently died. He had come from New Zealand and was formerly a police officer. Bosandish became a cripple for life from the accident, while Murphy was seriously injured but recovered.
Also in 1911, Austrian, Marigan Roscich died from a fall of earth underground.
John Harrington died when the cage fell down the shaft in 1913. A dozen other men in the cage were injured. The jury made several recommendations to improve safety, but there was nothing to force the company to do so. This would have more fatal consequences in coming years.
The following year, Dennis O'Brien (48), walked over a winze covered in planks. The wood broke and he fell 70 feet to his death. He was the brother of Mick O'Brien, jockey of Carbine who won the Melbourne Cup. Henry Caple and Lawrence Beilken were charged initially with manslaughter, later decreased to not following the Mines Regulations Act, to provide a safe working environment. The company remained blameless according to the authorities.
Also in 1914, Alexander Edwards (45) was killed by a fall of earth.
Thomas Heffron died the same year when he was found jammed between the cage and the shaft.
James Falonga had set explosives underground in 1915, and was being hauled to the surface by engine driver Joseph Tuya. He lost control of the hoist and the bucket fell to the bottom of the winze, Falonga either killed by the fall or when the explosives he had set subsequently went off. Tuya was charged with not having an engine drivers certificate. He was fined 5 pounds.
Bernard Brown (45) was caught in machinery at the Golden Horseshoe plant and died in 1917.
Arthur James Wills (40) fell out of the cage and down the shaft in 1918 and died.
The same year, Patrick Moriarty (28) fell down an empty ore pass and died.
One of the worse mining accidents in Western Australian history occurred at the mine in 1921, when six miners died, when the cage fell to the bottom of the shaft. The cause was the breaking of the main rod of the winding rig due to a defective welding. The jury determined no one was to blame. Killed instantly were John Nolan (30), Leslie Knox (21), Charles Orsneti (29), and John Perich (20). Joe Allgan (34), and Steve Illich (26) died shortly after from their injuries. Bartlo Guizzardi was severly injured but was the only one to survive. Remarkably the accident was hardly reported in local papers.
J. Collins was killed from a fall of earth in 1924.
Ernest Dighton (63) was found dead at the tailings reprocessing plant in 1934. It was determined he died of natural causes, but as the body was found at the bottom of a ladder, he may have slipped and fell.
There was a Mines Regulations Act at the time, but safety regulations in it were poor, much of it based on the engine driver needing qualifications. If any action was taken it was usually against another employee. The company was viewed as having no responsibility towards the safety of its workers. Clearly with 3.5 million pounds issued in dividends, shareholders of the mine in far away England, were unaware of the death toll, or didn't care. It was not until the asbestos disaster that befell Wittenoom, the resulting huge fines and bad publicity from court actions, that mining companies saw the need to improve safety.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.
27 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
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
0 - 2.588 Ma
Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)
Comments: regolith; synthesis of multiple published descriptions
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). 
|Neoarchean - Mesoarchean|
2500 - 3200 Ma
|Archean volcanic rocks|
Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)
Comments: Yilgarn Craton
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.