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Geotourism, Mining and Mineral Heritage

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The Australian Geoscience Council (AGC), which is the Peak Council of geoscientists in Australia representing eight major Australian geoscientific societies with a total membership of over 8,000 individuals, is currently consulting with state/territory government agencies with the aim of developing a national strategy predicated on consideration of a number of broad topics which include identifying mechanisms for collaboration with providers of other areas of natural (bioregion) and cultural heritage content, inclusive of mining heritage. Through the auspices particularly of the Heritage Committee of the AusIMM (an AGC member), it has been recognised that much of Australia’s rich mining heritage, including many outstanding mineral collections, has not been adequately integrated into tourism product development. Presentation to the Annual Conference of the Australasian Mining History Association, Atherton, Queensland, 9th July 2019.

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Geotourism, Mining and Mineral Heritage

  1. 1. ' Geotourism, Mineral and Mining Heritage’ AMHA Conference, 9th July, 2019 Angus M Robinson FAusIMM (CP), Coordinator National Geotourism Strategy, Australian Geoscience Council Herberton Mining Centre and Walking Trails
  2. 2. ‘Modern Day Explorers’ – 1978 An Early Geotourism Awakening! Whilst working in the tourism industry, I wrote a feature article in a tourism publication entitled ‘modern day explorers’ and described the ‘natural heritage’ of the mining area of Chillagoe, FarNQ based on my observations as an exploration geologist in the early 1970s.
  3. 3. Today’s Agenda  Natural Heritage, Ecotourism, & Geotourism.  National Geotourism Strategy.  Geosites, Mining Heritage Sites & Geotrails.  Etheridge Scenic Georegion & Mineral/Mining Heritage.  Public Mining & Mineral/Fossil Collections and Tourist Mine Sites.  Melding Geotourism, Mineral & Mining Heritage.  Take Aways – all about collaboration.
  4. 4. Understanding Natural Heritage Natural heritage is the legacy of natural objects and intangible attributes encompassing the countryside and natural environment, including flora and fauna, scientifically known as BIODIVERSITY, and geology, landforms and soil landscapes, i.e. GEODIVERSITY.
  5. 5. Ecotourism and Geotourism Concepts  Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing protected natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.  But ecotourism per se is too narrowly defined and is increasingly seen as a niche market.  However,'geotourism is holistic, nature-based and cultural tourism that focuses on an area's geology & landscape as the platform for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment'.
  6. 6. Geotourism comprises the following features of both natural and cultural heritage:  Abiotic – non-living aspects such as the climate & geology e.g. landscape and landforms: GEODIVERSITY.  Biotic – the living parts eg. fauna (animals) and flora (plants): BIODIVERSITY.  Cultural – past & present, indigenous and post European settlement, non-living and built. Holistic in scope, geotourism is booming globally and a key driver for tourism, particularly in Europe and Asia.
  7. 7. 7 Geotourism – Diversity of Places
  8. 8. Geotourism Delivery Mechanisms 1. Geosites & Mining Heritage Sites. 2. Geological Time Walks. 3. Geotrails. 4. Geoparks- both national and UNESCO global.
  9. 9. Ulladulla Geological Time Walk - Conceived and Created by Phil Smart, Retired Government Geologist Supported by a fossil walk and museum.
  10. 10. John Nethery and the Chillagoe ‘Hub’
  11. 11. National Geotourism Strategy – Discussion Topics 1. Geotourism as a means of celebrating geoheritage. 2. Enhanced coordination nationally of geoheritage data bases. 3. Establishment of a national set of administrative procedures for ‘georegional’ assessment. 4. New geotrail development. 5. Geotourism to strengthen Australia’s international geoscience standing. 6. Training of geologists to improve communication skills for geosite interpretation. 7. Collaboration with providers of other areas of natural (bioregion) and cultural (particularly MINING) heritage content.
  12. 12. C: Australia’s Mineral Heritage Source: Mel Davies
  13. 13. Geotourism and Mining Heritage • Existing and abandoned mining sites. • Old mining towns e.g. Broken Hill. • Historic mining regions e.g. West Coast Tasmania, Herberton and Etheridge, Far NQ; Blinman, SA. • Economic Geology geosites e.g. gossans, alteration zones e.g. Broken Hill and Arkaroola. • Old mine site complexes combining mining, museums, ecological interpretation, history and culture e.g. Hill End, NSW, Illawara and Lithgow Coalfields, NSW. • All underpinned by RICH STORIES.
  14. 14. Gossan of the Broken Hill Orebody
  15. 15. Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park, Taiwan Chillagoe Smelters Heritage Site
  16. 16. Chillagoe Smelters Heritage Trail
  17. 17. Chillagoe Smelters Heritage Trail
  18. 18. Herberton Mining Centre
  19. 19. Hill End Historic Site, NSW - NPWS
  20. 20. Headframe, Former North Broken Hill Mine
  21. 21. Lithgow State Mine and Heritage Park
  22. 22. Lithgow State Mine and Heritage Park
  23. 23. Photo by Henry Gold
  24. 24. Mount Painter, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
  25. 25. Best Practice Geotrails 1. Should be constructed around routes currently used by tourists; geotrails should form logical journeys linking accommodation destinations. 2. Should meld the geological heritage features of a region with a cohesive STORY. 3. Should incorporate and package in the biodiversity and cultural components (including mining heritage) of the region through which the geotrail traverses.
  26. 26. Exemplar: Port Macquarie Coastal Geotrail, NSW "The collaborative geotrail project has been led by the University of Newcastle (A) & supported by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, the Geological Survey of NSW (A), NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (B) & Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council (C). Supported by a brochure, website & smartphone app, the Port Macquarie Coastal Geotrail is a four kilometre walk from Shelly Beach to Rocky Beach that tells the story of plate tectonics & how the Earth’s crust was formed along the stretch of coastline over the past 460 million years".
  27. 27. ‘The Living Earth’ – Cradle Coast Geotrail
  28. 28. ‘The Living Earth’ – West Coast Geotrail
  29. 29. Etheridge ‘Scenic Georegion’, Queensland Comprising the entire Shire of Etheridge, and including areas of outstanding volcanic and mining heritage - some 40,000 sq km in area. Embracing 1.7 billion years of geological history. Only 950 people, mainly cattle farmers.
  30. 30. .
  31. 31. Etheridge Scenic Georegion – A ‘Defacto’ Geopark  Geosites – In abundance, with Undara as a global icon.  Geo villages – Four small townships, all with community engaged geosites (including agate, sapphire and gold fields); key established ecotourism resorts of Undara & Cobbold Gorge; and the indigenous Talaroo Hot Springs development.  Geotrails – The Savannah Way (Lava tubes, Gems and Gorges Trail) with connections to nearby mining heritage locations.  National Parks – Undara Volcanic Park & six other park areas.  TerrEstrial Mineral/Fossil Museum– Most significant mineral museum in Qld.  Many heritage mining sites & small gold mining operations underscores Etheridge’s status of one Australia’s most diversified mineralised areas.
  32. 32. TerrEstrial Centre, Georgetown, FarNQ
  33. 33. TerrEstrial Centre, Georgetown, FarNQ
  34. 34. Ted Elliott Mineral Collection
  35. 35. Value of Museum Mineral Collections “National and local museums can be a valuable source of information from an exploration perspective. If there is a comprehensive collection of minerals and ore suites from former and existing mines, an exploration geologist can quickly view the various styles of mineralisation and ore deposit types”. Douglas J Kirwin President 2019 Society of Economic Geologists
  36. 36. Public Mining & Mineral/Fossil Collections and Tourist Mine Sites - Queensland Queensland Museum Brisbane Various research- only state collections Brisbane School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland Ted Elliott Collection TerrEstrial Georgetown Herberton Mining Museum Herberton Crystal Caves Atherton Opal Museum Brisbane Mount Morgan Historical Museum Mount Morgan Australian Age of Dinosaurs Winton Key: Gold font indicates mineral collections available for public viewing
  37. 37. Public Mining & Mineral/Fossil Collections and Tourist Mine Sites – New South Wales Australian Museum Sydney Australian Fossil Mineral and Museum Bathurst Howard Warner Collection, University of Wollongong Albert Kersten Mining Museum, Broken Hill Crystal Kingdom, Coonabarabran GSNSW, Londonderry and/or Maitland (by prior arrangement) Great Cobar Heritage Centre, Cobar Daydream Tourist Mine Broken Hill History Hill Tourist Mine and Visitor Centre Hill End Kandos Bicentennial Industrial Museum Kandos Lithgow State Mine and Heritage Park Lithgow David Edgeworth Museum Kurri Kurri Age of Fishes Museum Canowindra Key: Gold font indicates mineral collections available for public viewing
  38. 38. Public Mining & Mineral/Fossil Collections and Tourist Mine Sites - Victoria • Museum Victoria (including Geological Survey Collection) Melbourne. • Gold Museum Ballarat. • Sovereign Hill Ballarat. • Other smaller sites, e.g. Bendigo, Walhalla, Korumburra, Wonthaggi. Key: Gold font indicates mineral collections available for public viewing
  39. 39. Public Mining & Mineral Collections and Tourist Mine Sites – Tasmania • West Coast Heritage Centre, Zeehan. • Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart. • GSTas, Hobart • Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery (not public), Launceston. • UTAS, Hobart. Key: Gold font indicates mineral collections available for public viewing
  40. 40. Public Mining & Mineral/Fossil Collections and Tourist Mine Sites – South Australia • South Australian Museum (inc Geol Survey SA collection), Adelaide. • Umoona Opal Mine and Museum, Coober Pedy. • Jeff Morgan Gallery, Hawker. • Radium Hill Museum, Peterborough. • Moonta Mines State Heritage Area & Museum. Key: Gold font indicates mineral collections available for public viewing
  41. 41. Public Mining & Mineral/Fossil Collections and Tourist Mine Sites – Western Australia  West Australian Museum (incl GSWA), Perth.  Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum, University of Western Australia.  Museum of the Goldfields, Kalgoorlie.  WA School of Mines, Kalgoorlie.  Mining heritage displays in the towns of Southern Cross, Cue and at the Gwalia Museum near Leonora.  Hannans North Tourist Mine, Hannans.  Perth Mint, Perth.
  42. 42. Public Mining & Mineral/Fossil Collections and Tourist Mine Sites – NT and ACT  Museum of Central Australia, Alice Springs.  Battery Hill Mining Centre, Tennant Creek.  Geoscience Australia, Canberra.  National Rock Garden, Canberra.  National Dinosaur Museum, Nicholls. Key: Gold font indicates mineral collections available for public viewing
  43. 43. Melding Geotourism, Mineral & Mining Heritage  Continuing need to link through geotrails mining heritage into established tourism infrastructure and product offerings.  Opportunity to link through geotrails, and cross promote mineral and fossil museums (with their outstanding collections) to existing popular museums such as the Age of Dinosaurs.  Opportunity to develop and promote tourist mines e.g. Blinman Mine, Flinders Ranges.  Opportunity to develop major national mining parks e.g. Hunter Valley, NSW and national geoparks e.g. Destination Pagoda, Lithgow.
  44. 44. Proposed Hunter Valley National Mining Park “A Vision Beyond Mine Site Rehabilitation - the largest national mining park in the world to be established to celebrate the significant role that mining has played for Australia’s development.” http://www.leisuresolutions.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/abstract_robinson-et-al_rev.docx • Native flora and fauna habitat conservation – all connected through corridors; • ‘Soft adventure’ recreation. • Coal mining heritage sites, geosites and geotrails. • Areas set aside for renewable energy generation (solar arrays, wind farms, biomass production) embracing light industrial sites and ‘value adding’ manufacturing. • Engagement with the six strategic hubs of the Strategic Aboriginal Culture and Enterprise Scheme of the Wonnarua Nation Aboriginal Corporation.
  45. 45. Collaboration with Providers of Mining Heritage  Work with museums, Geological Surveys and community groups to identify, link and promote ‘mining’ museums and heritage centres both nationally and state wide.  Work with state tourism agencies to promote geotourism and new product development that can include museums and mining heritage sites linked through geotrails.  Encourage the mining industry to sponsor mining heritage projects as an opportunity to enhance ‘social licence’ and Community Social Responsibility commitments.  AGC will be conferring with its constituent professional societies (e.g. The AusIMM, AIG, PESA etc) to determine whether this can be a leadership role for mining professionals.
  46. 46. Contact Details angus@leisuresolutions.com.au Tel: 0418 488 340 https://www.slideshare.net/leisuresolutions http://www.leisuresolutions.com.au/index.php/geotourism-industry-groups/ Information about Australian Geotourism and Geopark Development Activities https://ausimm.com/our-communities/heritage-committee/ AusIMM Heritage Committee

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