Home Guide to Australian Business Records
Corporate entry

Home | Browse | Search | Previous | Next

Western Mining Corporation Ltd

Archival ResourcesPublished Resources
URL: The home page for this entity is located at http://www.wmc.com.au
Additional Information:
The company was formed in 1933 to explore and develop gold mines in Australia on behalf of a London syndicate. By the outbreak of the Second World War, the group had six productive operations, including Gold Mines of Kalgoorlie Ltd, Triton Gold Mines NL and Central Norseman Gold Corporation. After the war, control of the company moved to Australia and the company diversified into other mineral production.
During the 1960s, operations expanded to include nickel mining, smelting, refining, marketing and exploration, gold mining and exploration, investment, aluminium, base metals exploration, and talc, uranium, oil and natural gas exploration.
In 1966, nickel was discovered in Kambalda, Western Australia. The Kwinana nickel refinery began operating in 1970 and the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter in 1972. Activities were consolidated when the company took over the Windarra nickel project and Great Boulder Mines Ltd the same year.
The company was incorporated in Victoria in 1970 as Westminer Investments Pty Ltd. It changed its name to Western Mining Corporation Holdings Ltd in 1979 and to WMC Limited in 1995.
In 1974, the company acquired an interest in Hill 50 Gold Mines Ltd and, in 1975, discovered a large copper and uranium deposit at Olympic Dam, at Roxby Downs in South Australia. In 1980, the company took over BH South Ltd, which owned Queensland Phosphate Ltd, which held extensive phosphate reserves in north-western Queensland. In the 1980s, major gold deposits were discovered south of Kambalda and near Agnew. Gold Mines of Kalgoorlie was sold in 1987 to enable the company to obtain complete control of Hill 50 Gold Mine. In 1988, the company acquired four operating gold mines in the United States and made discoveries in Brazil.
While the company had been involved in oil and gas exploration since the 1970s, production did not begin at the Eromanga Basin, Queensland until 1986. Production began in the Airlie field, offshore WA in 1987 and at Saladin in 1989.
In 1988, the dormant Leinster nickel mine was acquired, re-opened and expanded. By 1991, it was producing more than 54,000 tonnes per annum.
In 1992, the company began to define a major copper discovery near Cloncurry, Queensland and began preparations to develop the oxidised portion of the Nifty copper deposit near Marble Bar, WA.
In late 1993, a joint venture with Normandy Poseidon Ltd and BHP Minerals was awarded a feasibility study contract by the WA government on a proposed gas pipeline from the Carnarvon Basin to the WA goldfields.
The company is a present the third largest nickel producer in the world and has over 70 subsidiary companies through out the world.
Sources used to compile this entry: Original data from D. Terwiel, S. P. Ville and G. A. Fleming, Australian Business Records: An Archival Guide, Canberra : Australian National University, Faculty of Economics and Commerce, Dept. of Economic History, 1998. Subsequent information provided by RMIT, MBIT student, Catherine Nolan.

Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Bruce A. Smith
Created: 1 December 1999
Modified: 6 May 2005

Published by Archive Research Consultancy, 1999-2006
Submit any comments, questions, corrections and additions
Updated: 3 December 2006

[ Top of page | Guide to Australian Business Records Home | Browse | Search ]