Kambalda emerged as a goldmining centre in 1897, following discoveries by Percy Larkin at Red Hill in December 1896. But Kambalda’s fame came with the discovery of rich nickel deposits that, in the 1960s, were very profitably developed by Western Mining Corporation. This marked the beginning of Western Australia’s ‘nickel boom’ that was to ultimately capture the world’s attention through the meteoric rise and rise (and spectacular demise) of the fortunes of Poseidon NL, a small exploration company that had its ‘claim’ at Mt Windarra near Laverton (see LAVERTON).
But Kambalda’s nickel riches have endured and, today, new gold discoveries are also being exploited by the likes of Gold Fields’ St Ives mine.
Kambalda is situated on the ‘shore’ of Lake Lefroy, a vast shimmering salt lake, beneath which the rich nickel and gold deposits mostly lie. Viewing Lake Lefroy from the Red Hill lookout is a visitor highlight.
For further information on Kambalda:
Shire of Coolgardie - www.coolgardie.wa.gov.au
Kambalda Visitors Centre - 08 9080 2115