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Copper was discovered at Nuccaleena by William Finke in the mid
Following the raising of finance in England, the Nuccaleena Mine
became partly operational in early 1860, when 100 tons of copper
ore were mined in five weeks by sixteen men.
By March 1861, eighty-eight men were working at Nuccaleena, including
thirty-six miners, five masons, four sawyers, two cooks and a medical
The Great Northern Mining Company built a small town around the
mine, with The Register newspaper reporting that at Nuccaleena
in September 1861, "there is quite a township where the mechanics
and miners of the company reside".
The Nuccaleena township included the Bushmen's Hotel, built by
Charles Faulkner, which provided the mining community with their
liquid refreshments, and a Mechanics/Miners Institute.
In 1863 J B Austin in his book titled The Mines of South Australia described
the principal buildings of Nuccaleena, "The Captain's apartments;
office and three other buildings of stone are erected on a terrace
opposite the engine and present a frontage of nearly a hundred
There are also Substantial stone stables, a good store, smith's
shop, workshop etc.; besides a general store for supplying the
wants of the miner's; also a doctor's house and about twenty good
tine huts for the miners".
The Company had only produced 13 000 Pounds worth of copper ore
from the Nuccaleena Mine by 1866 having expended 57 000 Pounds
on the enterprise and shortly after the mine was abandoned having
been an enormous failure.