During August Mt. Charlotte will celebrate 50 years of continuous operation, a significant achievement considering the mine was expected to close on three separate occasions throughout its history.
Gold was originally discovered in Kalgoorlie in 1893 close to where Mt Charlotte’s Cassidy Shaft now stands. Underground mining and exploratory drilling occurred intermittently under various owners until 1962, when Gold Mines of Kalgoorlie (GMK) acquired the mine.
As one of the first operations to use mechanised equipment in the 1960s, Charlotte began continuous bulk underground mining. Whilst many mining operations in the Goldfields fell victim to fluctuations in the mining industry, Charlotte managed to survive.
Brad Bremen, Superintendent Mt.Charlotte, is passionate about Charlotte and her history: “When I came to Kalgoorlie in 1976 it was a very depressed mining industry and Charlotte was the only underground mine still working. As long as people would come past and see the skips operating they knew there was still gold mining in Kalgoorlie, it’s pretty special for a mine to do what Charlotte’s done – special to Kalgoorlie and special for mining in the Goldfields”.
KCGM took ownership in 1989 and the remains of old workings can still be seen throughout the underground. Currently at a depth of 3900ft (1.2km), Charlotte remains the only working underground mine on the Golden Mile, producing an average 3,740 ounces of gold every month.
Events and commemorative material celebrating the mine’s impressive and colourful history are being planned for the coming months.