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That some rich lode amongst these hills is waiting for us yet: Balancing Mining and Environmental Concerns in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania

Citation

Jetson, TJ, That some rich lode amongst these hills is waiting for us yet: Balancing Mining and Environmental Concerns in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania, Journal of Australasian Mining History, 7 pp. 39-59. ISSN 1448-4471 (2009) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 Australian Mining History Association

Official URL: http://www.mininghistory.asn.au/journal/

Abstract

For the observant, material legacies of past mining activities linger throughout the Cradle Mountain St Clair National Park [The Reserve]. There are adits or horizontal tunnels north of Mount Pelion West, while around Old Pelion Hut and Lakes Ellen and McRae are mullock heaps, trenches, shafts and adits. At the Barn Bluff site near the Lake Will junction, artefacts lie next to trenches and open cuts. Unknown to the great majority of bushmen, a greater variety of sites and relics, such as remains of old huts and mining machinery are located off the beaten track. Those who can read the landscape through changes in vegetation patterns and their distribution can also see signs. The absence or relative youth of trees, particularly King Billy pines to the east of Lake Will and Lake Curran is one such indicator of former mining operations in this region.

This paper focuses on the attempts to exploit mineral resources in the Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park. Although the area’s current identity is inextricably linked with ‘wilderness and wilderness activities’, this was not always the case. Prior to the area being gazetted a scenic reserve in 1922, economic land uses such as grazing, mining, hunting and forestry, were dominant with recreational activities at a rudimentary level. Twenty-five years later, when the area became a national park, the positions had reversed and economic land uses were almost extinct. Mining was unprofitable while the other exploitative land uses were regarded as incompatible with national park status. The intermittent and sporadic post-1922 mining history is an indicator of changing political landscape altered official thinking and reflects the eternal optimism of many a miner, prospector and speculator.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Tasmania, Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair, national park, mining, environment
Research Division:History and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical Studies
Research Field:Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Author:Jetson, TJ (Dr Timothy Jetson)
ID Code:59766
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2009-12-17
Last Modified:2012-12-13
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