Iron Knob

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Iron Knob
South Australia
Iron Knob.JPG
Iron Knob is located in South Australia
Iron Knob
Iron Knob
Coordinates 32°43′0″S 137°09′0″E / 32.71667°S 137.15000°E / -32.71667; 137.15000Coordinates: 32°43′0″S 137°09′0″E / 32.71667°S 137.15000°E / -32.71667; 137.15000
Population 199 (2006 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 5601
LGA(s) Outback Communities Authority
State electorate(s) Giles
Federal Division(s) Grey

Iron Knob is a town in South Australia on the Eyre Highway across Eyre Peninsula. At the 2006 census, Iron Knob and the surrounding area had a population of 199.[1]

Iron ore was originally mined here for use as flux in the copper smelting industry. The iron ore was of such high quality that it started an iron smelting industry as well. It is referred to as the birthplace of the steel industry in Australia. It gets its name for the fact that it has a large amount of iron ore and was a major contributor to Australia's iron industry.

Quarrying for iron at the town ended in 1998. Even though the mine is closed the town remains active. There is talk about a major mine company finding gold in the area, and there are other iron ore mines elsewhere in the Middleback Ranges. The iron ore was transported by railway to Whyalla[2] where it is smelted, or sent overseas via large cargo ships.

New deposits of iron ore were opened at Iron Prince and Iron Duke. Owing to the high price of iron ore the mine has been reopened.

When the mine closed down in 1998 people began to leave the town in the search for work, turning it into a ghost town. However, because of the recent rise in the price of housing, more people are selling their home in the city and buying or building a house in Iron Knob for a lower price. These days, a home can be purchased for approximately A$35,000–70,000 and vacant land can be purchased for less than A$15,000.


The mine was connected to the port by a railway, which carried 2000 ton loads.

Ships operated by the then BHP company were similarly named Iron This and Iron That.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Iron Knob (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  2. ^ Iron Knob Tramway Singleton, C.C. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, February, 1942 pp15-17

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