Timeline 1846 Coal discovered on the Irwin River by the August, Francis and Henry Gregory. Coal Mining at Irwin, c1880. Image courtesy State Library of Western Australia 54759. 1848 Lead, traces of silver and copper discovered on the Murchison river by the Gregory brothers. 1849 Geraldine Mining Company commences mining operations on the Murchison River. Geraldine Mine site c1870. Image courtesy Royal Western Australian Historical Society B328. 1850s – 1860s Lime kilns were built at Port Gregory, Lynton Station and Oakabella Station on Bulla River and other locations in the region. 1853 Lynton Convict Hiring Station established at Port Gregory. 1856 Wanerenooka Copper Mine opens just north of Northampton. 1859 Ex-convict Joseph Horrocks opens Gwalla Mine at Northampton. 1870 George Brelsford, a former ‘ticket of leave’ man discovers gold at Peterwangy Hill near Mingenew. Further exploration never realises payable levels. 1870 Narra Tarra Mine opens. 1871 First reference to iron ore is made by Government geologist H.Y.L Brown who records it being present in the Tallering Range. 1872 SS Xantho sinks at Port Gregory with a cargo of lead ore from the Geraldine Lead Mine. 1872 Opening of the Protheroe Mine. Bagged lead at the Protheroe mine. . Image courtesy Chapman Valley Historical Society. 1879 First WA Government railway opens between Geraldton and Northampton. Northampton Railway Station. Image courtesy State Library of Western Australia 5218/3. 1886 A collection of rocks and minerals from Western Australia is displayed at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London, including minerals of the Northampton Field. Western Australian Display, Colonial and Indian Exhibition. Image courtesy State Library of Western Australia 1148P. 1891 Proclamation of the Murchison Goldfield. Home at Mt Magnet 1897. Emily Kent, Jack Johnston holding Gertrude Kent, William and Gertrude. Image courtesy State Library of Western Australia 198P. 1894 – 1896 960 new Western Australian gold mining companies are floated on the London Stock Exchange. 1889 – 1901 1700 women aged from 16 years are given free passage to Western Australia to ease the shortage of domestic servants. S.S Port Pirie, 1898. The ship that carried Annie McInnes and 52 other immigrant girls to Fremantle. Image courtesy State Library of South Australia PRG 1373/39/17. Late 1920s The Calligaro family establish the Geraldton Brickworks at BootenalOriginal kiln, c 1929. The first bricks produced were handmade and fired in a temporary kiln in the Walkaway area. Image courtesy of Ray Calligaro. 1948 Talc is discovered at Three Springs by a local farmer. Life Underground – Scaling the talc. Metal poles were used to scale the talc which was then loaded by hand into wagons. Image courtesy Rio Tinto Minerals. 1959 Dongara Brick works started by Jack Morgan, using clay near Irwin River. Bought out by Geraldton Brick Company and later closed. 1961 Iron ore is discovered at Koolanooka near Morawa. 1964 Oil is discovered by Ampol Exploration on the site of the original race course west of the Irwin town site. Yardarino Oil Rig, 1964. Image courtesy Irwin District Historical Society. 1966 The first commercial shipment of 28,000 tonnes of Australian iron ore from Koolanooka is dispatched to Japan via the Geraldton port on the ship Margaret Maru. Western Australian Premier Mr David Brand officially dispatched Australia’s first iron ore export from the Geraldton port, 16 March 1966. Image courtesy National Archives of Australia. 1968 Nickel sulphides discovered at Mt Keith in the Shire of Wiluna. 1970 Heavy mineral sands are discovered at Eneabba. 1972 Uranium deposits discovered at Yeelirrie and Mount Maitland near Wiluna. 1974 Mineral sand mining commences at Eneabba. 1989 Scuddles and Gossan Hill, two underground mines located near Yalgoo open and start producing zinc, copper, gold, silver and lead. Loader and Gulf road train – underground. Courtesy of Minmetals Australia Pty Ltd. 1998 Quicklime plant at Dongara opens. Dongara quicklime plant. Image courtesy Cockburn Cement Ltd. 2004 Mount Gibson Iron’s Tallering Peak Hematite Operation commences production of high quality lump and fine hematite ore. 2005 The Geraldton Iron Ore Alliance is formed. 2006 The Roc Oil Company’s Cliff Head platform begins production. Cliff Head Oil Rig. Image courtesy Kevin Healy. 2010 The Koolanooka mine is re-opened for operation by Sinosteel Midwest Corporation Ltd. Koolanooka Hills. Sinosteel Midwest Corporation estimate that 7.5Mt of ore will be mined, process and shipped from the existing pits over the next five years. Image Western Australian Museum. 2010 Construction takes place at the Karara Mine near Morawa – the most advanced major Mid West iron ore project. Magnetite processing plant under construction, January 2011. Image courtesy Gindalbie Metals Ltd. 2011 The Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre opens to help employers attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal employees. ‹ Unearthed Histories › View the discussion thread.