On the 6th June 1875 James Venture Mulligan discovered tin ore in the Wild River near Herberton. He wrote in his journal that “there may be any quantity of it here, but what use is it at present”.
In the years that followed, the source of the ore was traced to a small gully now locally known as Prospectors Gully. The explorers initially failed to recognise the significance of the outcrops of black rocks, which was lode tine, as distinct from alluvial ore, and one of the richest finds in Australia.
Mining operations commenced and in 1880 the town of Herberton was born.
Between then and the collapse of the tin price in 1985, literally thousands of tin mines were established throughout this vast mineralised area, now commonly known as the Herberton tin field.
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