Object 19 Technological Survey of the Golden Mile is from the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) Kalgoorlie Library collection, chosen by librarian Teresa Bennett.
The Technological Survey was produced in 1981 by the Western Australian School of Mines, at the request of the National Trust of Australia (WA) and financed by the Australian Heritage Commission. The survey was researched and authored by Mr Maitland Keith Quartermaine, a WASM staff member for 30 years who, by the time of his retirement in 1977, was the head of the Department of Mining and Engineering. In 1988, Australia’s Bicentennial year, Mr Quartermaine was made an Honorary Fellow of WAIT (WASM) and received a special award of a silver medallion at the graduation ceremony.
The purpose of the survey, as stated by then Dean of Mining and Mineral Technology, now Emeritus Professor Ifan Odwyn Jones was –
to record the technological developments which have taken place in order to exploit the gold ore bodies on the famed Golden Mile at Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia.
with the required parameters of –
visual survey of the machinery, structures and equipment on the Golden Mile since 1893. The survey did not have to include small items which could be seen in a museum although this has not been adhered to strictly. Furthermore, the definition of what is meant as the Golden Mile had to be spelled out.
In other words, the built industrial technological environment of the Golden Mile Kalgoorlie-Boulder would be surveyed, images taken and a report of the project produced to become a tool for identifying mining structures and related activities both old and currently operating. A numbered series was published in 1981 for the School of Mines.
These two volumes are very valuable both from a historical point of view and to identify items which are found or unearthed with new workings on the Golden Mile at Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
The survey document lists headframes (the structural frame above an underground mine shaft), underground and surface equipment and structures, many of which are now lost to history as mining activities have changed. The Golden Mile is now largely one company with a massive open pit in place of the old mine workings and leases.
From time to time different items are also found around the city being repurposed as displays, fountains and art installations.
The completed survey was published in two volumes in 1981. A competition was held for the artwork used for the cover, and the winning entry was completed by Sheryl Stevens, third year (1980) Graphic Design student in the School of Art and Design, WAIT.
The School of Mines commenced in Coolgardie in 1902, with the Kalgoorlie School of Mines opening in 1903, and managed by the Mines Department until 1969 when the school was renamed the Western Australian School of Mines and became part of WAIT. During many years of supporting mining education, the WASM Kalgoorlie Library has built a significant collection in mining and geology, together with materials related to the local mining history of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The technological survey is just one example of the important historical records that may be found in the Curtin and WASM Kalgoorlie libraries.