Stay out, stay safe and report abandoned mine features

Many old mining sites not on register
Date: Wednesday, 15 July 2020

After more than 150 years of mining, Western Australia has thousands of abandoned mine features scattered throughout the State.

The Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) is reminding visitors and locals to ‘Stay Out, Stay Safe and Report’ any abandoned mine features they come across while exploring Western Australia.

Abandoned mine features are the result of historic mining and exploration activities, and include everything from deep shafts to waste landforms, open pits and abandoned equipment.

DMIRS has a register detailing more than 190,000 abandoned mine features, which includes details about the type, size and location of the sites.

Abandoned Mines Program Manager Ian Mitchell said it is highly likely there are many more abandoned mine features that are yet to be recorded.

“We are working on updating our database of abandoned mine features,” he said.

“People who are out prospecting, hiking and just enjoying exploring our State need to be aware that they should avoid abandoned mines.

“Abandoned mine features may pose safety risks because these sites can include shafts, pits, and old equipment.”

Mr Mitchell said everyone needs to be aware of this potential danger when out exploring.

While the department is keen to receive reports about abandoned mine features, it is important that people do not enter the sites.

“The current inventory list is available to the public on the department’s website,” he said.

“It is important that all known abandoned mine features, particularly those considered to be high risk, are brought to the department’s attention so they can be assessed and prioritised.

“Abandoned mines can be dangerous places and any recording of information to report to the department should be done at a safe distance - do not enter the sites.”

More details can be found on the department’s website at Report an abandoned mine by completing the online form and then emailing it to or call (08) 9222 0966.

The list of abandoned mine features can be accessed on the department’s website by selecting the ‘Abandoned Mine Inventory’ map layer in MINEDEX  or GeoVIEW.