Sunday History Photo / Tas

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 at 09:27
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Rosebery is a town on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia. It is at the northern end of the West Coast Range, in the shadow of Mount Black and adjacent to the Pieman River now Lake Pieman.
It lies on the Murchison Highway, 25 kilometres north-east of Zeehan and is part of the Municipality of West Coast Council. At the 2006 census, Rosebery had a population of 1,032.



The population of Rosebery declined by 22% in the years between 1996-2001. Its newer western area on the shore of Lake Pieman is known as Primrose.
Like most of the other settlements on the west coast of Tasmania, Rosebery is a mining town. In 1893, prospector Tom McDonald discovered gold in alluvial wash, along with boulders of zinc-lead sulphide in dense rainforest on the slopes of Mount Black. McDonald pegged several claims in the name of the Rosebery Prospecting Association (named after Lord Rosebery, which later became the Rosebery Gold Mining Company. The South Rosebery Mining Company was formed soon after to mine the southern continuation of the orebody.



In 1896, the Rosebery Gold Mining Company was reconstructed as the Tasmanian Copper Company, and the South Rosebery Mining Company became the Primrose Mining Company. Rosebery Post Office opened on 1 November 1897.
The main mineral found in the orebody was zinc, but due to the lack of a technique to successfully extract the zinc from the ore, little could be done to exploit the orebody. One company formed to experiment in the processing of zinc ores was the Tasmanian Metals Extraction Company who built a large plant next to the track to Williamsford, completed in 1912. The experiment was unsuccessful and the plant closed in 1914.





The Rosebery mines passed into the hands of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway company in 1916, and the mines were eventually merged with the Electrolytic Zinc Company of Australasia, who had discovered an effective method for the extraction of zinc. In 1926, construction of a processing mill at Rosebery began, and in 1931, an aerial ropeway to transport ore from the Hercules Mine near Williamsford was completed. Due to the Great Depression, the Rosebery Mill was not completed until 1936. The Rosebery Mine has operated continuously since then, with 75 year celebrations held during February, 2011. The mine is currently operated by Minerals and Metals Group Ltd , producing zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold.




Prior to the construction of the Murchison Highway in the 1960s, the town was connected with Burnie and North West Tasmania via the Emu Bay Railway.

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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 at 10:08

Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 at 10:08
many yrs ago there was a group of us 4 ,4wds spent a mth travelling around Tassie
we stayed overnight in Rosebury ,got there early avo ,a few of us went to the pub .
one of the couples had there little son with them ,he was about 7 or 8 as we were havin a few sherbits young Mathew was sitting up on the bar an he started singing
ADCD, EFG , the next thing all the locals were singing along with him , it was the funniest sight to see , it was a wobbly walk back to the caravan park .
an it was a day that we all remember even now an have a laugh about it .
what a country pub !!!!!!!!!!!!
mechpete
AnswerID: 589546

Reply By: B1B2 - Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 at 10:23

Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 at 10:23
G'day Doug,
Worked there in winter 1968, - standard weather report was, if it isn't raining at the moment, it will rain soon. The Murchison Hwy was often impassable due to snow. They have photos in the Zeehan Museum of the Rosebery mine and some miners, in 1974. It was the wild west. There is one block of single men's quarters still standing, and the mess hall at the end of the road. There were a lot of different nationalities working there, Yugoslavs, Poms etc all living in the SMQ's.

Cheers,

Bill
AnswerID: 589548

Reply By: rumpig - Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 at 11:41

Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 at 11:41
Plenty of mining history to explore down around those parts of Tasmania that's for sure. We actually spent 6 weeks touring that state at the end of 2014 / beginning of 2015, but didn't pass through Roseberry. We headed out of Zeehan and did the Western Explorer Road instead, a truely beautiful drive to do. The Mining Heritage Centre in Zeehan is well worth a stop in at to get a good understanding of that areas past, you can easily spend hours looking around in there.
AnswerID: 589552

Reply By: Member - Terry. G (TAS) - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 00:35

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 00:35
Doug
Left Rosebery in 1999 after working underground in the mine for twenty years,last sixteen as an Underground Supervisor . When I started in the mine there used to be 1700 Men work underground and when I left the total Underground plus the mill was around 250 men used to be a good place to work and in those days was a tight community
AnswerID: 589616

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