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South Cornwall Pit


Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.



Location Details

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1888, Constructed from 1899

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 28 Nov 2019

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 28 Jun 2001 Category 2

Category 2

High level of protection appropriate: provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the town planning scheme to conserve the significance of the place.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 29 Mar 2018 Management Category B

Management Category B

Conservation of the place is highly desirable. If not already, to be included on the Local Heritage List. Development proposals to be assessed pursuant to State Planning Policy 3.5 Historic Heritage Conservation; a Conservation Management Plan (if one exists); and to reinforce the significance of the place. Record prior to redevelopment, recognise and interpret if possible.

Statement of Significance

The Cornwall Pit is of historic and research value, and was once of great social importance.
Aesthetic Value
Historic Value
The Cornwall Pit is historic as the first large scale Tantalum pit in Australia.
Research Value
The Cornwall Pit is of research value as a world class ore body and a highly mineralised pegmatite which is geologically significant on a global scale.
Social Value
The Cornwall Pit continues to be a significant focus of mining activities at the Greenbushes Mine, employing a large number of people in the district and further afield, therefore having a high social value. An interpretive viewing area above the pit is easily accessed by the public, to learn about the minerals and processes of extraction. As a tourism attraction of learning value, it continues to have social value.

Physical Description

The pit is 265m deep with a further 200m of underground development beneath the pit. Cornwall main shaft was sunk in 1907 to a depth of 205 feet.


This site was originally mined by dredging for surface deposits of tin and tantalum. By 10 August 1899, when the mine was officially opened by the Greenbushes Tin Development Company, the shaft was already “98 ft deep and the lode in places running 8ft to 12ft wide”. By 1974 surface deposits were dwindling. With the inception of large scale mining machinery, more aggressive exploration methods were possible and drill and blast methods were introduced, with the large scale removal of mineral and waste made possible by hydraulic excavators and 150 tonne dump trucks. In January 1999, the Cornwall Pit was 150 metres deep, and in 2003 excavation ceased at a depth of 265 metres.


Although the Cornwall Pit is not currently active, it remains an open cut pit (mine) which is viewed by many tourists each year.




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Gwalia Greenbushes Operations Company Information Booklet
Talison Lithium Pty Ltd Staff
Southern Times pg.3 12/08/1989 mt-marion-lithium-super-pit-making/

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
No.G24 MI Place No.
- Assess No (Shire Ref)

Place Type

Historic site


Epoch General Specific
Original Use MINING Other
Present Use MINING Other

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Mining {incl. mineral processing}

Creation Date

14 May 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

27 Apr 2021


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.