Visitors day gives locals an inside look at the CSA Mine

The CSA Mine looked very different back in the 1960s (pictured) and now Cobar residents will have the chance to see what’s changed first hand when the mine throws open its gates to visitors this weekend. ▪ Photo contributed

CSA Mine is opening its doors to the public with a Visitors Day this Saturday.

The whole family should be entertained with tours, displays of mining machinery, activities, food stalls and giveaways on the day.

CSA’s training coordinator Georgia Wilson told The Cobar Weekly she is excited to see everyone’s hard work in planning the open day pay off.

“It will be nice for people’s families, especially kids, to see what CSA looks like and gain a better understanding on how we operate.

“There will be a surface bus tour that will be doing trips all day, machinery, a simulator, a lot of food stalls and loads of kids’ activities,” Georgia said.

CSA Mine is one of Cobar’s oldest and longest running mining operations with copper first discovered there in 1871.

It was mined for some years, producing 112,000 tonnes of ore between 1905 and 1920 when an underground fire started (which burnt for 16 years) and the mine was subsequently abandoned.

There was almost no activity at the mine until the 1950s when Enterprise Exploration Co Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Consolidated Zinc Pty Ltd, carried out exploration work in the Cobar area, including the former CSA Mine.

In 1960 the lease was sold to Cobar Mines Pty Ltd, who developed the site, and began work immediately.

Cobar Mines Pty Ltd decided to keep the name of the original mine in the area.

The name CSA originates from the first Cornish, Scottish and Australian mine owners in the 1800s.

The development of the mine continued through the early 1960s and, in 1966, production officially began at the mine.

The reopening of CSA Mine then started the modern era of Cobar’s mining and also played a major part in revitalising the town.

CSA Mine built houses for their employees and the renewed activity prompted further investment from the state and federal governments with a new high school, permanent water supply and many other facilities built or upgraded to coincide with the reopening of the mine.

The mine ownership passed to CRA in 1980 and then to Golden Shamrock Mines in 1992.

The town of Cobar suffered when CSA Mine was closed in 1997-98 following its acquisition by Ashanti Goldfields.

It was reopened in 1999 by current owners Glencore International AG, and is operated by Cobar Management Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned Australian subsidiary of Glencore.

Since then production has continued and the mine currently employs more than 300 people and hoists over one million tonnes of ore each year from as far as 1,700m.