Thursday, 10 December 2009

Mt. Lyell copper mine

Oops, this photo should be much further down, I managed to delete it while I was writing the blog and the only way I could get it back was in the wrong place - of course!!

I thought I would share with you some of the photos I took at Mt. Lyell copper mine in the southwest of Tasmania. The mine was started in the 1860s, when mining methods were very definitely not eco-friendly. The resulting landscape resembled a moonscape by the 1960s. I know the mining caused terrible damage, but I feel a little sorry for the poor maligned miners who lived an appallingly hard, isolated life and had no idea they were causing so much harm in those days.

We had a fascinating 4 hour guided tour of the area, I think it was the highlight of Bill's trip as he and the guide discussed the geology and mine workings.

The original company which owned the mine sold out in the mid 1960s. The mining methods have since been altered (with modern technology) to a much safer method and the present owners are reclaiming much of the blasted areas. The original company left a very large amount of money for reclamation with the Government, much of which is apparently still waiting to be spent.
The photo at the top of the blog is of an experimental tailings dam which is working very successfully - so successfully in fact that there were two different sorts of frogs croaking when we visited as well as a family of ducks on the water!
These flowers were all growing and flowering around the edge of the dam as well as some lovely mosses. I don't know the name of the sedge above, but the flowers were such a lovely bright colour.

This unobtrusive but pretty flower is Patersonia, and the photo below is of a sun orchid. They were just starting to pop up all round the place.

This lovely bright one is called Blandfordia. it looks like Christmas bells to me and was making a great show.
The wildflowers all round the west coast were really pretty, we were obviously there at the right time.
I am nearly catching up with all the things on my list - the cakes are made and one is iced, the Christmas cards have all been sent, I have finished my present shopping - but I still have to wrap! I have even defrosted and cleaned freezers etc - I hate that job and find excuse after excuse till crunch time hits.
Tomorrow I take a couple of housebound library patrons to a Christmas party put on every year by the Library staff. This is so much fun - there are usually about 80 patrons there, many from local nursing homes, and in various stages of incapacitation. There is always a luscious morning tea, then the Library staff and local councillors come along and sing Christmas Carols with everyone. As many library staff from all the other branches try to come along as well, the other libraries must have the barest skeleton staff for the morning.
I need to pay some bills before bedtime. Cheers.


  1. Blogland is so strange, Robin. One minute I am looking at Bonnie's fantastic snow photographs and the next I am looking at a copper mine. That is what makes it such fun.

  2. Wonderful photos Robin. It's amazing how nature repairs the damage done by man. You must have worked flat out to get all your jobs done so quickly. Hope the Christmas entertainment goes well - it sounds a lovely occasion and I'm sure all the guests will appreciate everyone's efforts and kindness.


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