Cockatoo Island (Western Australia)

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Cockatoo Island approached by air from the south-west. The mine working along western edge of the island and the townsite at the northern end (left of photo) are visible.
Map of Buccaneer Archipelago

Cockatoo Island is an island in the Buccaneer Archipelago off the coast of Western Australia near the town of Derby

Iron ore mining began at Cockatoo Island in 1951.[1] BHP (now BHP Billiton) operated the mine in the early 1950s and ran it as a complete town site until 1984 when the ore body had been mined to sea level. HWE Mining and Portman Mining Ltd re-opened operations in the 1990s by first retreating old BHP dumps, then forming a seawall and commencing mining below sea level.

The townsite formed by BHP contained a school, movie theatre, and even a lockup prison. During the 1980s businessman Alan Bond opened a tourist resort using the old mining village's infrastructure.[2][3] This was sold and closed.

Koolan Island is a neighbouring island that was also mined by BHP for high grade iron ore.


  1. ^ "Iron ore in Western Australia" (PDF). PDF. Department of Industry and Resources. 1995. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  2. ^ "Alan Bond's tourist resort on Cockatoo Island closed down". Sunday Times (Perth, W.A.). 1990-03-04. p. 10. 
  3. ^ Trott, Peter (1984-11-26). "Cockatoo Island closes down as iron ore producer but could become major tourist attraction". The West Australian. p. 13a-e. 

Coordinates: 16°5′55″S 123°37′0″E / 16.09861°S 123.61667°E / -16.09861; 123.61667