Youanmi, Western Australia

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Western Australia
Youanmi is located in Western Australia
Coordinates 28°36′53″S 118°49′50″E / 28.61472°S 118.83056°E / -28.61472; 118.83056Coordinates: 28°36′53″S 118°49′50″E / 28.61472°S 118.83056°E / -28.61472; 118.83056
Established 1907[1]
Postcode(s) 6638
  • 570 km (354 mi) north east of Perth
  • 90 km (56 mi) south west of Sandstone
LGA(s) Shire of Sandstone

Youanmi is an abandoned town in the Murchison Region of Western Australia.[2]

The town was gazetted in 1910 but abandoned in 1942, after the local gold mine was closed.[2]


The first Europeans to visit the Youanmi area were the Robert Austin party in 1854, followed by the Forrest Expedition in 1869, which passed through in search of Leichhardt and his party.[1]

Gold was discovered at Youanmi in 1894 or 1895 by prospector Tom Payne. The discovery site was the Golden Crown Mine, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) southwest of the current mine mill. Activity in subsequent years was subdued until a major movement of prospectors into the area in late 1907.[1]

By 1908 however, the Youanmi Gold Mine was set up and the local population grew to such an extent that the local Youanme Progress Committee requested the declaration of a townside in 1910.[2]

The town's name was originally spelt Yuani, which was thought to correctly represent the aboriginal name, but this was soon dropped in favour of Youanmi. The name Youanmi was first recorded by a surveyour in 1887, as the name of a local spring, pointed out to him by a local aboriginal accompanying him. Following the survey of lots, the townsite was gazetted in August 1910.[2]

The first pastoral lease were being established at this time.[3]

The mine was owned by London-based company Yuanmi Gold Mines, Limited.[4]

On Christmas Eve, 1929 Arthur Upfield met Snowy Rowles at Youanmi, after the latter had just murdered James Ryan and George Lloyd, in a case known as the Murchison Murders.[5][6]

With the closure of the gold mine in 1942, Youanmi was almost completely abandoned.[1][7]

Mining at Youanmi resumed in the 1980s, when the gold mine reopened, but because of the fly-in fly-out nature of present-day mining, the town was not reestablished. Mining continued until 1997, when the mine was closed once more.[8][9] At the time of its second closure, Youanmi had produced 670,000 ounces of gold throughout its lifetime.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Hooper, Jean M. (1987). Youanmi : A Story of Murchison Gold. Hesperian Press. ISBN 0-85905-104-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – Y". Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Technical bulletin - An inventory and condition survey of the Sandstone-Yalgoo-Paynes Find area, Western Australia" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Mining Stocks and Shares - Mining Notes". The West Australian. 29 June 1911. p. 8. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Dromedary Hills, Youanmi - Murders on the Rabbit Proof Fence accessed: 23 January 2010
  6. ^ "Arthur Upfield". Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  7. ^ Youanmi, Australia REBgold Corp., accessed: 22 February 2011
  8. ^ Annual Report 2008 APEX ASX announcement, published: 24 October 2008, accessed: 22 January 2010
  9. ^ Apex unveils gold strategy with three WA acquisitions APEX ASX announcement, published: 3 May 2007, accessed: 22 January 2010
  10. ^ Youanmi Project Voltaresources website (formerly Goldcrest), accessed: 22 January 2010

Further reading[edit]

  • Walker, Terry (1993). Murder on the Rabbit Proof Fence : the strange case of Arthur Upfield and Snowy Rowles. Western Australia: Hesperian Press. ISBN 0-85905-189-7. 
  • Upfield, Arthur (1934). Bernard Cronin (ed.), ed. The Murchison murders. Sydney, New South Wales: Midget Masterpiece Publishing. 
  • Upfield, Arthur (1931). The Sands of Windee (First published ed.). London: Hutchinson.