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Kanowna, Western Australia facts for kids

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Western Australia
CSIRO ScienceImage 1226 Ore Truck at the Silver Swan Nickel Mine.jpg
The Silver Swan Nickel Mine, north-east of Kanowna, in 2003
Population 10 (2016 census)
Established 1894
Postcode(s) 6431
Elevation 377 m (1,237 ft)
LGA(s) Kalgoorlie-Boulder
State electorate(s) Kalgoorlie
Federal Division(s) O'Connor

Kanowna is a ghost town in the Goldfields region of Western Australia, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Kalgoorlie. It is sited on Maduwongga tribal lands. At the 2016 census, Kanowna had a population of 10 people.

After the discovery of gold in the area in 1893, the townsite was gazetted in 1894. and the population grew from 2,500 in 1897 to over 12,500 by 1899. However, the alluvial gold supply was rapidly exhausted and underground mines following the outcropping vein produced decreasing amounts of gold, resulting in a slow but steady decrease in the population. The railway station was closed during the Great Depression, and by 1953 the town had been abandoned. The railway station platform, two cemeteries and mine workings are all that is left of the original town of Kanowna. Signs erected by the Kalgoorlie Historical society mark the sites of significant buildings.

Increasing gold prices in the late 1970s sparked renewed interest in exploring the geology of the area for new sources of gold. The discovery of a large amount of gold, previously undiscovered because the vein did not reach the surface, made gold mining in the region economically viable again. Mining recommenced in 1986, initially as open-cut mining, before moving to underground mines. As of 2002, the Kanowna Belle mine employed more than 300 people.

It formerly had its own local government: the Municipality of Kanowna (1896-1917) represented the township proper and the North East Coolgardie Road District (1896-1922) represented the surrounding area. The municipality merged into the road district in 1917, at which time the road district was renamed Kanowna.

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