Tin miners near Stanthorpe, ca. 1872.
Tin miners near Stanthorpe, ca. 1872. State Library of Queensland

New bid for tin mine on Southern Downs

STANTHORPE could be transported back to the days it relied on tin mining if a company's bid to explore gets the go-ahead.

ASX listed company, Archer Exploration Limited, has applied for a licence to explore the Stanthorpe area.

"Archer has made an application for a new exploration licence (ELA) over an area of approximately 300sq km, located east of the township of Stanthorpe," the companies ASX announcement said.


Prospectors next to a portable steam engine ca. 1870.
Prospectors next to a portable steam engine ca. 1870. State Library of Queensland

The ELA covers areas of historic tungsten and tin mines and prospects.

In 1974 approximately 66,000t of tin concentrate was produced from the ELA area which accounted for 8 per cent of Australian tin production at the time.

"Almost all of the tin production from the ELA area was from alluvial tin and tungsten deposits with minimal drilling to test the prospectivity of the old mines and deposits below surface," the announcement read.

"Archer considers the ELA to be highly prospective for tin and tungsten."


Archer Executive Chairman, Greg English
Archer Executive Chairman, Greg English Contributed

Tin was first discovered in the Stanthorpe area in 1852, but was not actually worked until 1872.

Stanthorpe, named after the Latin word for tin, stannum, really came to prominence when the Pioneer Tin Mining Company started mining in 1872.

The Queenslander reported that nearly all of the tin was gone by 1892, and that, in its heyday, "Stanthorpe had about thirty hotels all doing a roaring trade, its streets at night were thronged with moleskin-clad miners, its trade for many years was enormous; but gradually the rich stores were exhausted".

"Archer will continue to review all historical information and intends to explore the (Stanthorpe) tenement area once the tenement is granted and all government and landowner approvals are finalised."