Maninga Marley – ghost town

Maninga Marley GM 1906

Maninga Marley GM 1906

The outback mining centre of Maninga Marley is situated some 620 miles north-east of Perth. The Maninga Marley Gold Mine, from which the place takes its name, was found 9 years ago by prospectors Arundel and Dwyer. (In 1906)  Since its discovery, this little mining centre has turned out over £200,000 worth of gold, and is yet, so to speak, only scratched. Some day when the capitalist takes a hand to open up the shows, another busy centre will be added to the State. The district round Maninga Marley is good stock country, and notwithstanding the small rainfall, horses, donkeys, cattle, and sheep,  thrive wonderfully well, and the land is now mostly taken up for pastoral purposes.

Maninga Marley is a townsite and mine, 20 kilometres south-east of Sandstone near the Sandstone-Menzies Road. The parent mine was called Maninga Marley, but it was also the name for the area, with a couple of named mines, and several prospector shows. Over a wider area, it is called Black Range. Gold was discovered in the area by E. Arundel and Mat Dwyer, in 1903. The most active period of mining was from 1904 to 1910. The Maninga Marley Gold Mine was extracting gold from its Daphne lease, on a reef 6 foot wide.
In 1906, it was reported there were seven shafts as part of the gold mine, 45 to 70 feet deep, with the main shaft at 120 feet, cutting the reef at the 50 foot level. There was 4 foot of good stone near the Hanging Wall, separated by a divisional wall, with 4 to 6 feet of poorer grade stone, and 2 feet of gold bearing stone on the Footwall.

By 1906 a 10 head battery had been erected. H.E. Wright was mine manager until 1906, then it was Arundel. A heavy water inflow saw operations stop in 1909, however the battery crushed for other leases until 1912.

In 1925 the mine was being worked alone by Frederick Sonnenschein (59). There were two areas, the part worked by the prospector, and the abandoned workings. An explosive charge broke through to the abandoned part which was full of water. This rushed into the other workings and Sonnenschein drowned.

Maninga Marley North GM

Maninga Marley North GM

Maninga Marley was somewhat unlucky in the placing of its townsite. When local residents requested the warden to allot business areas, he complied by marking out several streets. When Mr Hans Irvine came along and purchased the Havilah mine he considered that the reef might extend further so pegged he out the entire townsite thus precluding any further business areas. When questioned the warden exclaimed, ‘The whole blessed place seems to be reefs, and if I give a site today there’s nothing to show that somebody won’t strike a reef digging a verandah post and peg out the whole country”.

Mt Tagliaferri at Maninga Marley

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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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