The Herberton Mining Museum collection is significant for its ability to demonstrate and interpret the mining history of the Herberton district and to a lesser extent, the large Walsh and Tinaroo Mining Field, concentrating on base metal mining. This area has been important to base metal production in Australia, particularly tin, producing around a quarter of Australia’s tin output, but also significant amounts of wolfram – in the early 20th century, much of the world’s production. The mineral field is internationally known among geologists, considered ‘world class’. The collection is comprehensive enough to interpret nearly all the historic processes in mining and treating ore . The collection is particularly significant for its dredging collection, which includes a large collection of records for the operation of the two major dredges operating in the Mt Garnet area from the 1940s to the 1980s. It also documents the change from small-scale alluvial and underground mining in the 19th and early 20th centuries to large scale alluvial mining (hydraulicking and dredging) and open cut mining in the later 20th century. However, the records and artefacts also show that small scale mining and prospecting persisted throughout the whole period of mining in the region, including that done by Aboriginal people.
© Herberton Mining Museum History Association 2023