Mount Magnet, Western Australia

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Mount Magnet
Western Australia
Mount Magnet from Warramboo.jpg
Mount Magnet from Warramboo
Mount Magnet is located in Western Australia
Mount Magnet
Mount Magnet
Coordinates 28°3′36″S 117°50′46″E / 28.06000°S 117.84611°E / -28.06000; 117.84611Coordinates: 28°3′36″S 117°50′46″E / 28.06000°S 117.84611°E / -28.06000; 117.84611
Population 532 (2011 Census)
Postcode(s) 6638
Elevation 426 m (1,398 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Mount Magnet
Region Mid West
State electorate(s) North West
Federal Division(s) Durack
Website Mount Magnet
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
28.6 °C
83 °F
15.2 °C
59 °F
257.5 mm
10.1 in

Mount Magnet is one of the Mid West region’s original gold mining towns, and the longest surviving gold mining settlement in Western Australia. The prominent hill that is adjacent to the current townsite was called West Mount Magnet in 1854 by explorer Robert Austin, having named a smaller hill 64km away, East Mount Magnet (now called Carron Hill). Both hills had an extremely high iron content which affected the readings of his compass. West Mount Magnet had its Aboriginal name reinstated by the Surveyor General in 1972, 'Warramboo," meaning campfire camping place.[1] The magnetic variation at Mount Magnet is zero: magnetic north equals true north.[2] At the 2011 Census, Mount Magnet had a population of 532.[3]

Overview[edit]

Surrounding the town are remnants of old gold mining operations, and to the north east are significant Aboriginal sites being preserved jointly by the local community and the West Australian Museum. Its history is sustained through the Wirnda Barna Arts Centre,[4] and a Mining and Pastoral Museum. Today Mount Magnet is primarily a service town for the surrounding pastoral district which supports very large sheep stations.

There continues to be active gold mining in the area, notably by Ramelius Resources which acquired Mt Magnet Gold Pty Ltd in 2010. The company operates the Saturn and Mars pits, collectively referred to as the Galaxy mining area. The company also commenced the Perseverance open pit cutbacks in 2015 at the top of the Hill 50 underground mine which is 4km north west of Mount Magnet.[5]

The area once had three separate town sites - Mount Magnet, Boogardie, and Lennonville. Boogardie has since been swallowed up into the open cut mining operations at Hill 50. Lennonville was abandoned at the start of World War I, and the foundations of the bank and train station can still be seen.

Unusual for such a large mining community, Mount Magnet has never had a public battery (a type of mill machine that crushes material). The nearest battery was built 5 km west, in Boogardie. However its gold-rush heyday can be seen in its very wide main street with three hotels, a race course and a golf course complete with oiled greens.

During spring (September to November) the area attracts tourists viewing the natural display of everlastings[disambiguation needed] that can stretch for kilometres in all directions. Being 6 hours drive from Perth makes it a comfortable day's journey for vehicles heading further north to places like Mount Augustus and Port Hedland.

During the lifetime of the Northern Railway to Meekatharra, Mount Magnet was an important railway junction (when the Sandstone Branch Railway was in operation), railway station and yard.

Mount Magnet is served by Mount Magnet Airport, where Skippers Aviation has services to and from Meekatharra and Perth.

Climate[edit]

The climate in Mount Magnet is an arid climate, also known as a desert climate that has a BWh classification according to the Köppen climate classification. The mean maximum temperature in Mount Magnet is 28.6°C. The driest months are September to November with average monthly rainfall of 8.93mm. The hottest day recorded in Mount Magnet was 47.4°C on 21 January 2015.


Climate data for Mount Magnet AERO
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.4
(117.3)
45.9
(114.6)
42.0
(107.6)
37.5
(99.5)
35.1
(95.2)
28.0
(82.4)
27.9
(82.2)
32.0
(89.6)
35.6
(96.1)
40.6
(105.1)
43.6
(110.5)
45.4
(113.7)
47.4
(117.3)
Average high °C (°F) 37.9
(100.2)
36.8
(98.2)
32.9
(91.2)
28.8
(83.8)
23.8
(74.8)
19.9
(67.8)
18.8
(65.8)
21.4
(70.5)
24.7
(76.5)
29.6
(85.3)
32.6
(90.7)
35.7
(96.3)
28.6
(83.5)
Average low °C (°F) 23.5
(74.3)
23.3
(73.9)
20.1
(68.2)
16.2
(61.2)
11.7
(53.1)
8.3
(46.9)
7.0
(44.6)
8.0
(46.4)
10.4
(50.7)
14.6
(58.3)
17.9
(64.2)
21.1
(70)
15.2
(59.4)
Record low °C (°F) 12.6
(54.7)
13.5
(56.3)
9.9
(49.8)
5.1
(41.2)
3.3
(37.9)
0.5
(32.9)
−0.2
(31.6)
0.5
(32.9)
3.0
(37.4)
5.3
(41.5)
8.1
(46.6)
11.5
(52.7)
−0.2
(31.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 27.7
(1.091)
35.4
(1.394)
38.2
(1.504)
19.7
(0.776)
18.5
(0.728)
19.9
(0.783)
30.0
(1.181)
16.6
(0.654)
9.0
(0.354)
6.4
(0.252)
11.4
(0.449)
21.9
(0.862)
257.5
(10.138)
Average precipitation days 4.8 5.0 4.8 4.8 5.0 6.1 7.8 5.7 4.1 3.0 3.2 3.7 58.0
Average relative humidity (%) 35 41 45 53 57 66 68 60 51 39 36 34 49
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mount Warramboo" State Heritage Office. 28/05/97. Web. 01/04/16. http://inherit.stateheritage.wa.gov.au/Public/Inventory/Details/0abf1a0d-dcb6-4200-b4de-321e33dc7576
  2. ^ http://worldaerodata.com/wad.cgi?id=AS99865&sch=YMOG
  3. ^ "2011 Census." ABS: 2011 Census QuickStats. 09/08/2011. Web. 31/03/16.
  4. ^ Wirnda Barna Artists - Aboriginal Art Centre Hub WA. http://www.aachwa.com.au/our-members/wirnda-barna-artists Accessed December 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Mt Magnet Gold Mine" Ramelius Resources. 2011. Web. 01/04/16. http://www.rameliusresources.com.au/projects/operations/mt-magnet-gold-mine
  6. ^ "MOUNT MAGNET AERO". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. 31/03/16. Retrieved 2 April 2016.

External links[edit]

Media related to Mount Magnet, Western Australia at Wikimedia Commons