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Expo 51: Black gold

— Pilbara


The mining boom in Western Australia has seen both the natural and economic landscapes transformed. New services fly thousands of workers in and out each week. So Monocle went to dig a little deeper.

Australia, Mining boom, Western, economic landscape

The Greensnake mine is a surprisingly beautiful open pit of earthy reds, browns, whites and, beneath the mud, black manganese ore. At the bottom of the deep cut, drills and blasters are digging further downwards to get to the resource, a high-grade, low-impurity mineral used in stainless-steel production. Greensnake is the largest of six manganese pits at mining site Woodie Woodie in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

It’s from here the nation’s life-blood is drawn. Starting with a trickle of excavations during the 19th century and continuing into…


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