One of Australia's few modern goldmining towns (the most recent mine
operated between 1985 and 2001), over the years it had an average
annual production of between 200,000 and 300,000 ounces of pure gold
all of which was mined by open cut and crushed and refined at the local
Location: 110 km south of Mount Surprise.
The Kidston Gold Mine, the largest open cut gold mine in Australia, can
be visited. The Kidston Battery, complete with crushers, is a historic
industrial relic from the 1800s when Kidston was a prosperous gold
mining town. The battery is located near the town.
Origin of name: recalls William Kidston, the Liberal Premier of Queensland at the time of the Oaks goldfield.
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Gold was first discovered in the area in the 1880s but the location
was kept a secret. It wasn't until the alluvial field known as The Oaks
was opened in 1907 that prospectors arrived to try their luck. Over the
next three years an estimated 622 000 grams of gold were mined. By 1915
many of the small holdings that worked the gold had amalgamated to form
Sometimes referred to as The Oaks Goldfield, Kidston had its own
battery by the early 1920s. Built by the Queensland government the 15
head battery with a gas engine and two generators is still standing at
the site of the current mining operation. It has been listed for
preservation by the National Trust. Thus Kidston today is a rare
combination of the old and the new.