Series S20 - FILES - MINING

series20_cons964_item1893-0075.pdf series20_cons964_item1896-11275.pdf

Identity area

Reference code





  • 1892-01-01 - (Creation)

Level of description




Various - see descriptive note


Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A16 - DEPARTMENT OF MINES (1894-01-01 - 1992-07-01)

Administrative history

The Department of Mines began operations on 1 January 1894. Previously, the regulation of mineral exploration and mining activities in Western Australia had been the responsibility of the Colonial Secretary's Office and the Lands Department. Initially, the Department of Mines was controlled by the Commissioner of Crown Lands; the Department then consisted of a Secretary for Mines, a principal clerk, an assistant clerk, and a draftsman. Towards the end of 1894, the first Minister for Mines (E.H. Wittenoom) took over from the Commissioner as head of the Department. The Secretary for Mines became the Undersecretary for Mines and the Department's administrative and technical staff were increased. Mining districts were established and Mining Registrars and Mining Wardens appointed to the various mineral fields. Mining Registrars were responsible for recording mining claims. Mining Wardens, who were also resident or stipendiary magistrates, presided over the Mining Courts which were established in the major goldfields.

The Department started with five branches: Registration, Accounts Correspondence, Drafting, and Government Geologist (known after 1896 as the Geological Survey Branch). The Department maintained a mining museum in Perth and was responsible for the School of Mines at Kalgoorlie. (The School was established in 1902; in 1969 it became part of the Western Australia Institute of Technology).

Before being replaced by the Department and Minerals and Energy in 1992, the Department consisted of eight divisions: Geological Survey; Mining Engineering; Petroleum; Government Chemical Laboratories; Corporate Services; Explosives and Dangerous Goods; Mining Registration; and Surveys & Mapping. The executive comprised eight division Directors, two Assistant Directors General, and a Director General. The Minister for Minerals and Energy held responsibility for the Department. The Department's mandate was to encourage investment in, and the orderly development of, the State's mineral resources. Historically, the Department's mandate was based on several statutes, most notably the Goldfields Act of 1895 and the Mining Act of 1904.

The Department of Mines became the Department of Minerals and Energy on 1 July 1992. The organisation now operates as the Department of Industry and Resources.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

These records form part of an on-going series of files dealing with mining legislation, mining companies, and the mining industry in general.


System of arrangement


Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing access (legacy)


Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

On microfilm from 1892/0007 to 1895/2296.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Related units of description


Category of relationship


Description of relationship

Dates of relationship


Related units of description

Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Level of detail




Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 363/1950 - 2197/1975

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places