|Location:||7.5 km from Marble Bar via the Hillside-Marble Bar Road. 1480km north of Perth on the Great Northern Highway, 190km south-east of Port Hedland.|
|Open:||All year daily 9-16, tours 9:30, 11:30. Closed 25-DEC. |
Comet Gold Mine and Tourist Centre, Hillside Road, Marble Bar WA 6760, Tel: +61-8-9176-1015, Fax: +61-8-9176-1129.
Marble Bar Tourist Information Centre, 11 Francis St, P.O.Box 23, Marble Bar WA 6760, Tel: +61-8-9176-1375, Fax: +61-8-9176-1244.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1880s||founded during the gold rushes to the Pilbara.|
|1891||gold discovered near Marble Bar by Francis Jenkins.|
|1893||declared a town.|
|1899||332 ounce General Gordon nugget discovered.|
Marble Bar is the hottest town in Australia, which is recorded by the Guinness Book of Records. In summer 1923/1924 the temperature in the town never dropped below 100°F (37.8°C) for 161 consecutive days. The town was named after a local deposit of mineral first thought to be marble. The marble is jasper, a highly coloured cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, which is found 5km west of the town at the Coongan River. This place is signposted off General Street, and it is protected, so fossicking (mineral collecting) is prohibited. Rock enthusiasts can collect jasper at the road to the old Comet mine.
Comet Gold Mine is the main tourist site at Marble Bar. It is a nice museum with rocks, minerals and local history on display. The tourist centre with a diversity of local and foreign gemstones, jewellery, and rocks is also of interest to mineral collectors. The mine has the tallest smoke stack in the Southern Hemisphere, which is 75m high.
The tours are guided by Vic, an old gold miner who can tell a lot about the times when the mine was still working and the used techniques. The local sulphide gold ore was mined using cyanide and arsenic and nitric acid, the containers can still be seen.
The mine was founded long after the gold rush populated the town with 5,000 miners. During the 1890s the 333 ounce Little Hero nugget, the 413 ounce Bobby Dazzler, and the 332 ounce General Gordon were discovered. But the goldrush was shortlived.