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The economic decline of large remote mining towns: does the Broken Hill experience offer lessons for Kalgoorlie Boulder?


  • Philip Maxwell


In analysing the relatively recent economic decline of the iconic remote Australian mining town, Broken Hill, this paper seeks to derive lessons for the equally iconic gold and nickel mining city of Kalgoorlie Boulder. It also makes indicative predictions about the economic status of Kalgoorlie in 2050. Mining around Broken Hill, which has contracted dramatically since 1980, has been associated with a major decrease of population and housing, an aging population and income levels significantly below the national average. Attempts to diversify the local economy into tourism have had only limited success in replacing the impacts of mining. With the closure of the Super Pit after 2020, Kalgoorlie faces a similar period of decline during the coming decades. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Maxwell, 2015. "The economic decline of large remote mining towns: does the Broken Hill experience offer lessons for Kalgoorlie Boulder?," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 28(3), pages 83-101, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:28:y:2015:i:3:p:83-101
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-015-0072-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Growth; Decline; Income; Housing; Population; Minerals; O13; Q32; Q38;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)


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