Like Strathpine before it, Indooroopilly is another Brisbane suburb which consists of residential property and a large shopping centre (this time the largest in Brisbane’s western suburbs) and a lot of traffic. I popped into the shopping centre but having forgot my wallet popped out again. There is some doubt as to the meaning of Indooroopilly with it being based on either Yindurupilli, meaning ‘gully of running water’ or Nyindur-pilly, meaning “gully of the leeches’.
The University of Queensland has a campus in Indooroopilly including the “University Experimental Mine”, the history of which goes back nearly one hundred years to 1918 when a P.J. Madden and G. Olsen discovered a piece of precious mineral in a garden rockery in the town. Following the discovery they obtained a Mineral Lease and began mining on 1 November 1918. The first 12 tons of ore were sent to a smelting works in NSW. It yielded 1,245 ounces of silver and 8 tons of lead and the miners received £282.
With two additional mining operations, a fall in mineral prices, an increase in minders wages and flooding of the mines, the mining operations at Indooroopilly came to an end in 1929. The mine site became the property of the Brisbane City Council. It was then acquired by the University of Queensland in June 1951 for the use of the Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering. The University, on realising the benefits of operating a mine for educational purposes, continues to operate the 8.6 acre site including the big Open Pit and the underground shafts, many of which have be restored and extended and is now known as the Julius Kruttschnitt Mine Research Centre, one of the world’s leading mining and mineral research centres.
The mine is not available to the public so I make do with the shopping centre for my entertainment. This does not last long so I move on to another similar suburb, Yeerongpilly.