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Ron Manners’ ideas
and adventures
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As  Chairman of Croesus Mining Ron was called on to open a mine at Davyhurst, 120km north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. At the time, the mine was predicted to produce 120,000 ounces of gold annually and was the first one opened in WA in the 21st century. Ron started the speech with a joke, of course. 

Ore bodies are like girls; they come in varying shapes and sizes. And I’ll tell you something; I’ve never really seen an ugly one yet. Naturally, everything is relative and emotions are generated by varying degrees of desperation.

Croesus Mining, in its 15-year history, has already had intimate relationships with 23 ore bodies* and all but one have been particularly satisfying affairs (the one exception was the time where we were caught with our pants down when the gold price halved and the cyanide price quadrupled simultaneously).

Each quite unique, each with their own distinguishing features and we remember them all fondly. All others have been very meaningful affairs, each quite unique, each with their distinguishing features and we remember them fondly, so we are gathered, here at Davyhurst, ready for the ride of our lifetime. Our team is salivating at the starting stalls.  With eight ore-bodies lined up here plus Fort William ready for mining back at Binduli.

It may be no coincidence that amongst our collection2 of eight ore-bodies here, we’ve had some success with Lady Gladys, Lady Eileen and Lady Jane and with the strangely named ore-body Two Gums (presumably that’s upper and lower gums). The past successes of our exploration team led by Michael Fowler under the watchful eye of Mike Ivey has set a very high benchmark and in readiness for the excitement ahead, Tony Webb, Felicia Binks and David Preedy, have already given our Mill a dose of Viagra. It’s now a ‘Super Balls’ mill.

Our maintenance team led by Lindsay Rowan has also performed miracles in a very short time-frame with the mill now operating at full capacity just three weeks after commissioning. Our mining team led by Paul Gent and Simon Hillyard are charged with the responsibility of feeding ore to our  hungry mill and on their past performance they will be one step ahead all the time.

When Managing Director, Mike Ivey, asked me to officially open our Davyhurst operations today, I was delighted. In the past we have asked some well-known figures to do the opening honors.  Included have been:

George Compton

Professor Martyn Webb

Professor Geoffrey Blainey

David Reed

Mark Creasy

I understand that our Giles Mine at Davyhurst is Western Australia’s first gold mine to be opened this century and Mike thought I would enjoy this task.  He knows how proud I am to be Chairman of our dynamic team at Croesus Mining. It also gives me a chance to thank a lot of people who have gone before us on this very significant 560sqkm of prospective ground (that’s 30km long by 20km wide).

Previously, Consolidated Gold had done a great job of consolidating the regional holdings of these various companies. WMC, in 1986, constructed a 300ktpa treatment plant and mined the Golden Eagle and Waihi pits.  It then sold the project to Cons Ex in 1987. At about the same time that Cons Ex mounted their successful takeover of Jones Mining and its ground in the Davyhurst area.

In 1993/95 Aberfoyle mined the Lights of Israel and Cons Ex mined the Great Ophir pits both trucking the ore to Bardoc. Pan continental, in 1993/94, mined several shallow pits in the Mulline area and trucked the ore to Paddington. In 1996, Cons Ex became Cons Gold and purchased the Aberfoyle ground holdings. By December 1996, Cons Gold purchased the Bardoc treatment plant and moved it to Davyhurst.

The timeline continued:

Plant commissioned in 1997

Cons Gold appoints an administrator in March 1998

Rothschild Australia inherited the assets in October 1998

Rothschild’s continued processing until April 1999.

Our calculations show that gold production in this area since WMC started in 1986 totals 600,000 ounces. Rothschild Australia then continued the task of maintaining and interpreting the holding in a very professional fashion.  That enabled us to quickly take over the reigns from them in June 2000. We have enjoyed working with Michael Mulroney, Jim Keogh and James Guy at Rothschild and they recognized Davyhurst’s potential and took part equity in Croesus to cover the upside. Our team have moved quickly to develop sufficient ore positions to bring mining and milling up to speed just in time for today’s opening.

Now that’s all history and it’s just background to the exciting future that Mike Ivey has just outlined. So in now officially opening Croesus’ Davyhurst operations let me sincerely thank you all for your attendance. You are all involved in some way with the success of this venture and we are sincerely appreciative of the part you play. There is something very satisfying in being part of the productive process of ‘turning ideas into gold bars’, which in turn benefits the whole community.

Australia would be a better country if exploration and mining was actually encouraged instead of being discouraged but don’t let me start on this; that’s why we are building the Mining Hall of Fame so it can demonstrate that message. Meanwhile, we are proud to have you all here today.  Many thanks for coming all this way and please enjoy the rest of the day and may you all have a safe and happy homecoming tonight.

I now declare our new generation Davyhurst operations officially open.


* Mining Commenced at Giles on 22 January, 2001

Previous Ore-Bodies                                                                 For Mining at Davyhurst

Hannan South                                                                                  Giles

Wombola                                                                                           Golden Eagle

Queen Lapage                                                                                   Lady Gladys

Cookes Pit                                                                                          Lights of Israel

HS2                                                                                                     Waihi

Mystery Mint                                                                                    Lady Eileen

Pitman                                                                                               Charlie

Choctaw                                                                                            Two Gums


Centurion South

Kafka                                                                                                2. For Mining at Binduli

Ben 1                                                                                                 Fort William

Ben 2



Navajo North

Navajo South



Mirror Magic


Joanne and Jenny (both at Jupiter)

NB: WG Manners (my grandfather) as involved in mining a portion of the Davyhurst area in 1906.  Details are on pages 270 – 271 of ‘So I Headed West’ which can be downloaded as a free eBook.

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