The History & Archaeology of Cadia Valley


Copper Mining

The Bon Accord Mine, Burra, South Australia

Persuaded by the directors of the Scottish Australian Investment Company, Robert Morehead made a joint purchase with the North British Australasian Company of land contiguous with the north side of the Burra Mine, South Australia, in 1846. They hoped that the Bon Accord Mine, purchased for the high price of £5,500, would make similar profits to the “Monster Mine”, next door.

Despite extensive exploration, no continuation of the copper bearing seam was located and the works were abandoned in 1849. Part of the mine was laid out as town allotments for the new township of Aberdeen.

After this unfortunate investment, the Scottish Australian Investment Company transferred its interests in copper mining to exploring potential mines in New South Wales, looking first to the Goodhope Mine, near Yass and then at Cadia.

In 1857 the Bon Accord Mining Company was formed and commenced work in 1858 under Captains Killicoat and Jeffry to follow newly found deposits from the Burra Mine. A small engine was used for pumping in 1859, but was found insufficient. A larger second-hand engine was purchased from the Burra Mine and was constructed in 1860, along with workshops, offices and the manager’s house. Operations were suspended in 1862 and the Bon Accord Company wound up in 1864. The engine house was demolished and re-erected at the Bird-in-Hand Mine, Woodside, South Australia, in 1886. The old shaft at the Bon Accord Mine was used to supply water to Burra until 1966.

  • The Mine Offices and Workshops also date from 1859 and are surrounded by a stone wall (Edward Higginbotham, 2006).

  • Most of the surviving buildings at the Bon Accord Mine date from 1859 onwards. The footings of the Cornish engine house, erected in 1859, are covered by the red corrugated iron. The pump shed dates to 1908, when the original mine shaft was used to supply water to Burra Township (Edward Higginbotham, 2006).

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