Map - Cockatoo Island

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Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is an island in the Buccaneer Archipelago off the coast of Western Australia near the town of Derby. It was mined for iron ore by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company from 1951 until 1984. Koolan Island is a neighbouring island that was also mined by BHP for high grade iron ore. It is now owned by Perth-based mining company, Pluton Resources.

The ironstone of Cockatoo Island was known to pearl luggers in the 1880s, who used it as ballast on their voyages. The Broken Hill Proprietary Company first acquired leases to the island's mineral deposits in 1928, via the company's subsidiary, Australian Iron and Steel Ltd. The island was first surveyed in 1930, then again more comprehensively in 1936. The island was evacuated with the outbreak of World War II and work on the deposit did not resume until 1944.

By October 1945 over 100 men were employed on Cockatoo Island and work was underway laying a foundation for the processing plant, building a jetty and layout the township. Iron ore mining began in 1951. In 1952, the island's population numbered 150. By 1954, the mine was capable of shipping up to 2 million tonnes of iron ore annually.

The BHP operated the mine and managed the township from its establishment until 1984 when the ore body had been mined down to sea level. HWE Mining and Portman Mining Ltd re-opened operations in the 1990s by first retreating waste-rock from old BHP dumps, then forming a seawall and commencing mining below sea level.

The townsite established by BHP contained a school, movie theatre, and even a lockup prison.

The first shipment of iron ore from the island was made in the vessel Iron Yampi, which was purpose-built at the Whyalla shipyard. It was one of a fleet of four bulk-carriers built to transport the ore for smelting at Australian steelworks. The Iron Kimberley was another of them.


Map - Cockatoo Island

Latitude / Longitude : 16° 5' 40" S / 123° 36' 33" E | Time zone : UTC+8 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  


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Cockatoo Island--Buccaneer Archipelago

Buccaneer Archipelago

Country - Australia

Flag of Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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ISO Currency Symbol Significant figures
AUD Australian dollar $ 2
ISO Language
EN English language