Cangai copper: History of ‘a good little earner’

Ken Mcqueen

Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review


The Cangai copper mine was one of the most successful mining operations in NSW during the early 1900s. Following discovery in 1901 and initial mining by syndicates, the mine was operated by the Grafton Copper Mining Company Ltd from 1905 until 1917 and produced approximately 5,000 t of copper, as well as significant gold and silver, from an estimated 76,940 tonnes of mined ore. Earlier gold mining in the Cangai area paved the way for discovery and development of the Cangai copper deposit. Key shareholders and promoters in the copper mining had gained experience in this previous phase of mining, resulting in similar approaches to financing, management and technical aspects. The Cangai deposit possessed significant natural advantages, which combined with good management, allowed for low-cost mining of high-grade ore. This meant that the mine essentially paid for its own development without the need for significant external capital. The Grafton Copper Mining Company was able to pay healthy dividends and through its activities and expenditure make a significant contribution to the development of the local region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-118
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Australasian Mining History
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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