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9 June 1845 Burra Copper Mine

 9 June 1845   Burra Copper Mine

On the 9 June 1845 a young shepherd named William Streair walked into a solicitor's office in Adelaide where Henry Ayers, who was also Secretary of the South Australian Mining Association, worked, and showed them specimens of rich copper ore. He also told a merchant named Bunce who together with a friend, Samuel Stocks, decided to interest people with money to join them in a mining venture. But before any claim to the land could be made a Special Survey costing £20,000 had to be arranged and thus began the battle between the 'Nobs' and the 'Snobs' for the control of the Burra copper deposits. 

The 'Nobs' were a few comparatively large capitalists, and the 'Snobs' were the shopkeepers and some minor capitalists. After much frantic negotiating the issue was resolved when the 'Snobs' joined forces with the South Australian Mining Association, and the 'Nobs' with their shareholders, agreed to put up £10,000 each, and to share the land surveyed by taking half each, the section of land to be decided by lot drawn in the presence of the Surveyor-General.

The 'Nobs' represented by Captain Bagot drew the southern section. They named their mine Princess Royal, but it was the northern lode of the 'Snobs', the Burra Burra mine, which proved to have the richest ore and made a fortune for its owners. Streair received £8 for his discovery.

Ian Auhl, The Monster Mine,   District Council of Burra Burra, 1986, pp. 15-41.

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