Heritage Blinman Mine


Useful Information

Location: 3 Mine Rd, Blinman SA 5730.
(-31.094057, 138.678290)
Open: APR to OCT daily 9-16:30, hourly tours.
NOV to MAR daily 11, 13, 15.
Online booking mandatory during school holidays.
[2023]
Fee: Adults AUD 35, Children (0-14) AUD 17, Students AUD 28, Seniors AUD 28, Families (2+2) AUD 95.
Groups (20+): Adults AUD 28.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=616 m asl, T=22 °C.
Guided tours: D=70 min, Max=12.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:
Address: Heritage Blinman Mine, 3 Mine Rd, Blinman SA 5730, Tel: +61-8-8648-4782. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1859 copper ore discovered by the one-legged shepherd Robert ‘Peg Leg’ Blinman.
1862 begin of copper mining.
1907 mine closed.
APR-2011 Blinman Heritage Tourist Mine opened to the public.

Geology

Description

Heritage Blinman Mine is a former copper mine. During its operation between 1861 and 1907 some 10,000 tonnes of copper were removed from 200,000 tons of ore. Blinman is an historic copper town located 485 km north of Adelaide via Wilpena Pound. The tiny, isolated settlement on the edge of the South Australian desert was named after the one-legged shepherd Robert "Peg Leg" Blinman, who discovered the first copper ore here in 1859.

The land was owned by a man named Dr. Hayward. He gave his brother Paul Hayward some wethers (sheep) to graze on the land. If he did not like his brother, if this was some kind of punishment or joke, we don't know. But Paul Hayward was quite bored sitting on a rock watching out for the sheep, so he handed the job over to “Peg Leg” Blinman. He included the rock, his favourite seat, in the deal. But one day a piece of the rock broke of and Blinman realized it was copper. He talked to two butchers in Adelaide, Henry and Thomas Martin, and they had a mineral lease on the land by 1861. One year later they started mining.

During the heydays of the mine the village had 1,500 inhabitants. While the town was named Blinman, the mine was first named Wheal Blinman, because the first miners who came to work at the mine were Cornish Miners. It was later called Blinman Mine. It was finally closed because it was worked out, the copper vein was completely mined out.

The show mine is an initiative of the Blinman community, who made it accessible by a 10-year project which involved extensive excavations. It offers an additional type of income for the 18 inhabitants of the village. Benath the normal mine tours they also offer Theatrical light and sound tours and night tours. Quite exceptional: they close for 4 weeks over summer.