Richmans concentrating plant was one of three at the Moonta Mine, the others being Hancocks and Ryans. It operated from 1869 until the mine closed in 1923, crushing and concentrating ore from nearby shafts. During this period many alterations were made to the plant to suit the improved technology of mining and processing. Waste from the plant was dumped on the large tailings heap behind the enginehouse.
Richmans Enginehouse was constructed between 1867 and 1869 using stone from Moonta Beach. Designed by engineer Frederick May and built under his supervision, the enginehouse featured a concealed roof surrounded by a parapet. It housed a 32-inch Cornish beam engine.
The engine was taken out of service in 1917 and the enginehouse and surrounding buildings were salvaged in 1925. Surrounding the enginehouse are other ruins including foundations and bases of crushers, jiggers, buddles*, elevators, air compressors and boilerhouses.
There is a walk that can be completed around the area. This walk provides access to Richmans Enginehouse and lookouts on the tailings heap. Signs interpret the remaining structures.
The skimping burrow (tailing heap) nearby is 20 meters high and from the top a spectacular view of the whole district can be obtained.
(*A buddle- an apparatus such as an inclined trough or platform on which crushed ore is concentrated by running water which washes out the lighter and less valuable portions)
The engine house is open daily.
Follow this walking trail for a detailed look
Contact us for more information
National Trust Moonta
Copper was first discovered in the area in 1861 by a shepherd named Paddy Ryan. This signalled the start of a mining boom in the area.The area today provides a fascinating insight into the regions mining heritage.
National Trust members play an active role in the conservation of South Australia’s built and natural heritage.
“We really learned a lot about the Cornish Mining History today. It was a great day for all of our family, something to interest everyone..”
“I highly recommend a visit to the National Trust Moonta Branch. There is so much to do.”
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