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 works.

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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Brief history

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 larger companies.

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.

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