Beneath the Peak of Lyell
by Ross Mainwaring
Hard cover, 263 pages, A4 size, 228 photographs, 35 maps, plans and diagrams, with glossary, bibliography, references, and index.
The book is a comprehensive history of the copper mines of the Mount Lyell area around Queenstown, Tasmania; and the associated 2 ft gauge tramways.
It describes the copper mining and ore treatment processes over the life of the various mines from the beginning around 1890, and the way the extensive series of 2 ft gauge tramways were essential to the mines’ success. Motive power included horse, steam, electric, battery-electric, and internal-combustion, as well as cable haulage. It also describes the constant need to seek efficiencies to keep the mines viable as the quality of the ore steadily fell, and the world copper price see-sawed.