67. Thompson Shaft - 1910

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This site was part of the British BHP Co. Ltd., also known as the British Mine. The British arm of BHP was established in 1887 when George McCulloch, one of the original syndicate of seven BHP investors, travelled to London to float the British Broken Hill Propriety Company. British BHP worked Blocks 15 and 16 and altogether sunk seven shafts, including Thompson Shaft, along the Line of Lode. 

The headframe for the shaft was erected in 1910. The adjacent crushing plant and ore bin were added to the site about 1936. 

The sinking of the Thompson Shaft marked the beginning of deep underground mining. Reaching down 1000 metres, when sunk it became, for a time, the deepest mine in Broken Hill. The Shaft changed mining in Broken Hill, enabling access to deeper ore bodies. The shaft had a steel framework and cages, pulleys and rope haulage system for transporting miners and equipment up and down the shaft.  

An 825metre aerial tramway was built in 1906 to convey the ore from Marsh and Thompson Shafts to the concentration mill to the southwest.  

The mine was sold to North Broken Hill Ltd in 1923 and the Thompson Shaft was in use until 1958.  

The iconic headframe has featured in many paintings by Broken Hill artists, turning it into a symbol of the rich history of mining in the region. 

Audio transcript available.