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Presidential Address 1958: Early History of the Mineral Industry in Tasmania


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Author Somerset H B
ID P_PROC1958_0868


It is a very great privilege for me to be able to address you tonight and I am deeply sensible of the honour which has been done me. I am equally sensible of the inadequacy of my training for the position of President of your Institute.

May I say at once what a very great pleasure it is to have so many members from the mainland States visiting us here in Tasmania. We do hope that you will find pleasure and profit in your stay.

Since the Annual Conference is always held in the vicinity of one or other of the great mining fields, it has become the practice for the Presidential address to review the history of the particular field and t(j) indicate its place in the economic structure of the country.

I propose to follow this practice and to try and present to you a short picture of th€ mineral industry as it has existed in Tasmania. None of the information is new it is available in diverse and remote geological reports and in publications such as Witham’s Western Tasmania and the more recent Peaks of Lyell. The last composite approach was written twenty years ago by P. B. Nye and published as a Geological Survey Bulletin.

I have enjoyed preparing this address because on occasion I find it refreshing to look back and see what was known and what was accomplished in the days when the going was a little tougher than it is now, and to speculate upon the reasons that drove men to do what they did. I shall therefore discuss the search for minerals in this State; the discoveries over the years; the elation with which the new fields are greeted; the disappointments attending some of them; the mines that have come and gone; and the…