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The Kangaroo Island China Stone and Clay Company and its Forerunners

This paper was first published in the Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia, number 44, 2016. Some minor alterations have been made to the text in this current version, and importantly the addition of photographs of the mine offered by their owner subsequent to the paper’s first publication is much-appreciated: these now substitute for the group of newspaper photographs originally on p8 in the Journal. Additional images, including some more recent photographs, expand the paper.

Kangaroo Island’s soils were prospected for various minerals from the nineteenth century. One of the more promising finds was of china stone on Dudley Peninsula in 1905. Earlier exploration for tin deposits followed by tourmaline mining in the same region developed into china stone extraction. This soon led to the discovery of fire-clay deposits and optimism from South Australia’s financial backers that a healthy industry to supply Australia with potters’ materials and kiln-fired bricks could be established. The mine was developed south-east of Penneshaw township and west of Antechamber Bay. Kilns operated beside the Penneshaw jetty until 1910 when flooding stopped activity at the mine. Shipping charges from the island to the mainland also contributed to end the initial enterprise, although government interest in the deposits was awakened during 1917; and more recent mining exploration on the site has occurred.

Tags: basalt rollers, Bates, BHP, , china stone and clay, Coombe & Co, CV Lawrance, Down & Co, , , Forwood, Franco-British Exhibition, Frank Abell, Imperial Institute of the UK, Joseph Provis, Kangaroo Island, , , Kingscote, , Penneshaw, , Royal Commission on Customs and Excise Tariffs, , South Australian mining and industry, Thomas Barnfield, , William Kingsborough, William Mastin.