At the start of any great mineral project, some enterprising, and possibly lonely, figure stands in the landscape and drops a stake into a hole. The claim is made. The stake will eventually look like the one facing which was dug into the hardpan near Cloncurry, Queensland at the place where the great Ernest Henry copper-gold mine would later arise.
This particular stake went on to become vital evidence in the gripping Savage Resources vs Western Mining Corporation case. Savage, a Sydney enterprise, won a massive settlement and went on to great things and eventual takeover by Pasminco Ltd. Later this zinc giant went into receivership.
The stake was thought to be lost. Eventually we found this stake in the Museum of Queensland. We thank the Tattersalls Club, the erstwhile home of the Sydney Mining Club, for letting us mount this totem here. It is a totem not just to Jim Wall and John Gaskell who led Savage to victory, but to every one of Sydney’s enterprising mining souls – past, present and future.
Sydney Mining Club patron of 2003 Prof Geoffrey Blainey described the prospector’s act of staking as ‘a statement of hope’. So is our mounting of this stake.
Sydney Mining Club