Round Australia Road Trip #26
While outback towns like Kalgoorlie and Norseman were built on the back of gold rushes in the 1880s, Broken Hill in western New South Wales was founded after the discovery in 1883 of the richest silver, lead and zinc deposits in the world. Broken Hill Proprietary Company, formed in 1885 by seven local men, went on to become the international mining company BHP Billiton. With Perliya Limited at the helm today, these precious resources are still being mined.
Over the last 130 years, as mining waste was deposited, a massive mullock heap grew to dominate the town. It seems fitting that the Line of Lode Miners’ Memorial sits atop the mountain of rock and soil overlooking the city.
The memorial commemorates more than 800 miners who have lost their lives while working, with a white rose placed next to each man’s name. Nearby are two dump trucks – a memorial to the only two dead miners still lost underground.
The main street of Broken Hill is lined with buildings that reflect the city’s mining history. The trade union movement was strong and it was here that the 35 hour working week came to fruition.
Broken Hill is the Silver City, built for mining and miners.