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Payout a way out, miner tells rattled residents of neighbourhood shaken by underground blasts

Payout a way out, miner tells rattled residents of neighbourhood shaken by underground blasts

Williamstown, on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, sits good a few hundred metres from the Great Pit gold mine.   

Key points:

  • Residents say daily blasting has made existence complicated 
  • Northern Star Assets is offering financial assist for those willing to relocate
  • The increase time housing market has residents insecure they gained’t be able to acquire new properties

Another mine is even closer, its tunnels working benheath the neighbourhood, with daily blasts shaking residents and damaging their properties. 

Early Newspaper

Sharon Henderson’s family has lived in Williamstown for 3 generations. 

“You is liable to be feeling the vibrations, you are feeling the noise, you are seeing the results on your individual dwelling,” Ms Henderson said.

“It be very, very draining, and it be very emotional.”

Sharon Henderson's home

Sharon Henderson’s family has lived on this dwelling since 1975. She says blasting has increased unbiased lately.(

ABC Goldfields: Madison Snow


Ray Kean, 76, said the explosions beneath his dwelling caused constant anxiety. 

Northern Star Assets took over the Great Pit and Mount Charlotte mines about 18 months ago.

“Vibrations from blasting happen and we have now actually increased the productiveness from that mine since we have now taken possession,” managing director Stuart Tonkin said. 

The company had begun negotiating with residents to assist those willing to relocate, he said. 

“That’s the challenge that the residents are recognising and saying, ‘I have been right here 30 years and I’m bit bored stiff along with his activity, how enact you assist me pass away from this?’.'”

Mr Tonkin said the plan was about being a correct neighbour, no longer accessing more land.

Nonetheless he acknowledged that there can be value for the company in residents vacating the area.

“Certainly, if there weren’t any residents there, you’ll probably have greater drilling information up and down that belt to accept an understanding, but it be premature to understand what that is,” Mr Tonkin said.

Williamstown street

The mounds of the Great Pit gold mine loom over the streets of Williamstown.(

ABC Goldfields: Madison Snow


Local historian Tim Moore said there was a long history of communities within the area shifting around expanding mines. 

Mr Moore said areas in conjunction with Brown Hill, Trafalgar and Fimiston had been vacated and outdated mine operators weren’t so consultative. 

“Literally, one day each person good leaves the area,” Mr Moore said. 

“What you can take with you, it goes and every part else is candy knocked down, and then you definately dump dirt on high of it.”

Williamstown dwelling costs half other areas

The increase time mining activity that’s pushing residents out, has also suppressed the value of properties in Williamstown.

The Real Estate Institute of WA estimates the median dwelling designate within the suburb at half of that of the relaxation of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Wtown Drone sth

Explosive blasts in tunnels from the Mount Charlotte gold mine shake residents and their properties. (



And real estate agent Margaret Boyden said the market was aggressive. 

“The rental market is amazingly tight,” Ms Boyden said. 

“The sale market has also far much less stock than what we’d normally carry.” 

That had made residents like Ray Kean insecure about whether or no longer Northern Star’s offers can be satisfactory to replace their properties. 

“We want to stay, we have got a beautiful dwelling, every part’s there for us, and you can be hard-pressed to accept another place with the same form of setup,” Mr Kean said. 

Ray Kean

76-year-conventional Ray Kean says he’s insecure about the impact of mining tunnels underneath him. (

ABC Goldfields: Madison Snow


Mr Tonkin said the company’s offers would account for individual wishes, no longer good market value. 

“We’re absolutely wanting at the fundamentals of valuation of the land, the properties, but ultimately what’s required for the residents to encourage or reward them for the relocation,” Mr Tonkin said.

Residents anxious about their future

Sharon Henderson says she’s relieved Northern Star is coming to the table with a answer, but locals are concerned about what the future holds.

“There are a lot of folk that I’ve spoken to that are insecure about the technique,” Ms Henderson said. 

“Is it actually going to happen?”

Sharon Henderson leans on her front gate, with her house behind, looking at the camera

Sharon Henderson says some residents are “stuck” attempting to acquire what they ought to enact. (

ABC Goldfields: Madison Snow


She said her family would be sad to leave Williamstown, but may perhaps no longer are residing with the blasting.

“There may be certainly a lot of memories there that we’re going to have to make optimistic that we retain and preserve,” Ms Henderson said.

“Nonetheless at the tip of the day, you can’t preserve residing in a place where you have got blasting happening every single day.

“It be good no longer suitable.”

Payout a way out, miner tells rattled residents of neighbourhood shaken by underground blasts