Saturday, December 2, 2017


We set off from the Caravan Park, just after 9.45am, as we wanted to post a couple of cards on our way into Kalgoorlie, and we needed to be at the tour company’s departure point by 10.15am to get checked in and also get our vest and safety glasses for our tour of the Superpit this morning.  
Our tour guide and bus driver Wes had to get in the photo also.

Kalgoorlie is the home for the Golden Mile and the KCGM “Super Pit”, one of the largest open cut mines on earth and the biggest gold mine in Australia.  It is over 3.7kms long, 1.5lm wide and over 500m deep,  producing around 850,000 ounces of the precious metal annually, and it will continue to expand as long as mining remains economically viable.
 It has literally swallowed up all of the historic underground miles that once comprised the fabled ‘Golden Mile’. The Super Pit was the brainchild of Alan Bond and was eventually brought into being by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) in 1989. 

 Today KCGM manages the mine on behalf of joint-owners Barrack Gold and Newmont Mining, and over 1,000 men and women are employed to operte the mine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
They keep a great stock of their tyres on hand...
Metal and wood casing from the underground mines dug up from the superpit

The view across the Super Pit from the official lookout is one of the most spectacular vistas in Australia.  It is not possible to put into words the enormity of the “Super Pit”.

Since 1989, the Super Pit has produced over 13 million ounces of gold.  When added to the output of the ‘Golden Mile’ mines that it has replaced, over 54 million ounces have been produced by this extraordinarily rich ‘patch of dirt’ since mining began in the mid-1890s.  It is the second biggest gold producer in the world second on to China.  It is also the most visited attraction within the goldfields.  

Proceeds from the pink truck go to Breast Cancer Research.. from the Blue truck they go to Prostate Cancer Research

The Hammer head that breaks up all the rock that is bought up from the Super Pit

dumping a load or rock

The tour cost us $45 and lasted for just under 2 hours.  It started with a visitors induction to the KCGM Super Pit and then we got to view the mining and milling operations through the Fimiston Milling Plant from the safety of an air conditioned bus.  On two occasions we got off the bus to view the Open Cut mine from two different viewing platforms within the complex.  

These viewing platforms within the mining complex offered way better views than the public viewing platform. 
Some interesting facts about the mine:
·      The Super Pit’s history stretches back to 1893 and the Gold Rush era, when Paddy Hannan discovered 100 ounces of gold in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. This sparked the WA gold rush and the discovery of the ‘Golden Mile’, one of the richest gold deposits in the world.
·       Around 15 million tonnes of rock is moved from the Super Pit every year, making this dynamic operation truly worth its weight in gold. Since the Golden Mile’s discovery, 58 million ounces of gold has been mined from it.
·       The Super Pit covers more than 35,000 hectares of leases and is made up of around 260 individual mining leases joined together.
·       Be amazed by the size of the 793  Haul Dump trucks on site.  Each truck will use approximately $8 million of fuel and $3 million worth of tyres. Truck tyres can weigh up to five tonnes and it takes two people 45 minutes to change one. There are 40 of these trucks on site, costing $4.4 million each with a fuel tank capacity of 3,790 litres and a maximum speed of 55kms/ph.
  • The shovels and trucks at the mine work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A round trip for the haul truck can take 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the load’s final destination. And this is just the start of the gold being produced.
  • KCGM has a fuel farm on site with a capacity of 700,000 litres
  • All heavy equipment is fuelled up at the farm except for dozers and shovels, which are refuelled by service trucks.
  • Each piece of equipment is monitored by a computer system from a device commonly known as a fuel ring that is installed on each piece of equipment to keep track of the fuel useage
  • Each month they use about 5-6 million litres of diesel.
  • The final dimensions of the “Super Pit” in 2029 is expected to see the “Super Pit” at 3.9 kilometres long, 1.6 kilometres wide and 700m deep.
  • 1 in 7 trucks carries ore – about a golf ball size of fold (about 500gms)
  • The remaining 6 trucks will go to the waste dumps.
  • They use a dispatch system at KCGM to track all their shovels and trucks via a GPS.  This means that they know where their machinery is at all times.  They can determine how long it will take a truck to get to each of the shovels and which shovel needs trucks to load, allowing the dispatchers to direct trucks efficiently.
We got back into town around 12.30pm just in time for lunch.  We ended up picking up some Subway and having it on the picnic tables just outside the tour company.  Half way through our lunch we were joined by our bus driver and tour guide from our Superpit tour that morning.  Wes obviously is passionate about what he does and spent another hour sitting with us giving us more facts and information about the the Mines and Superpit in Kalgoorlie.  A bonus for us…

The gold gilded dome on the clock tower is over $500,000 worth of gold. 
 Ian and Kathy were keen to go home for a rest,  Steve and I wanted to head back out to Hannans North Tourist Mine to see a little more of this complex and also have a go at panning for gold.  We got back out there around 1.45pm, and decided to do a bit of panning for gold first.  

 That was a lot of fun and definitely something you needed to be patient with as it is quite tedious, but we did manage to find several specks of gold which are now in a specimen bottle for us to keep.

After panning for gold we continued working through the mining museum but even then we didn’t manage to get all the way around it.  Honestly, you could spend a whole day here and still not see it all.  Definitely recommend a visit here also if you are in Kalgoorlie.  

The complex closed at 4pm, so we headed out along the highway towards Menzies then to check out the Bush 2 up Shed.  There are only two places in Australia where it is still legal to play 2 Up, one being Kalgoorlie and the other Broken Hill in NSW.  The game is played here each Sunday afternoon with all proceeds going to charity.
We needed to pick up a couple of groceries on our way home, and that is when we noticed that Kalgoorlie has a Coffee Club.  Since we are VIP Coffee Club members we decided to use our card and stop off for a Hot Chocolate together.   Then it was off to  do a bit of grocery shopping before heading back to the van.

On our way home we actually drove past the only legal brothel in Australia which is situated just down the road from the Woolies Supermarket in Hay Street.  Questa Casa has been in known operation for 112 years and is possibly the worlds oldest working brothel. Also known as "THE PINK HOUSE", Questa Casa is the only remaining brothel from Kalgoorlie's gold rush era.  The historical brothel offers tourists the unique opportunity to experience life from a bygone era. Questa Casa is the only brothel that has the famous "STARTING STALLS".  Apparently, it is now quite a tourist attractions with tours that  take you through the history of the famous brothels on Hay Street.

We chose not to do this tour,  I still feel incredibly sorry and sad for the girls who work in places like this.  My personal feeling is that as people are fair more valuable and worth much more then selling themselves off.    Still it has and is still part of Kalgoorlie’s history.

One more day left in Kalgoorlie and then we head east.  Tomorrow is all about washing, and shopping and packing with a visit to the Museum and Kalgoorlie Town Hall planned. 


  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP