Evolution Mining Management Team Tour Ben Prior Park

Published on Thursday, 14 January 2021 at 12:41:52 PM

Evolution Mining provided significant funding support for the restoration work at Coolgardie’s Ben Prior Park and open-air mining museum.

On December 11 2020, Evolution’s Management Team attended a site visit to view the status of the project.  The Shire of Coolgardie welcomed:

  • Chief Operating Officer, Bob Fulker
  • Outgoing Mungari General Manager Andrew Millar and incoming Mungari General Manager Greg Walker
  • Group Operations General Manager, Jason Floyd
  • Sustainability Manager, Wayne Astill
  • People and Culture Manager, Ellen Sinclair
  • Community Relations Officer, Tara Rout

As part of the walk-through, Victor Dale, local Coolgardie historian provided explanations of the refurbished items and their history.  The visitors were very impressed with the progress, especially the installation of Jack Cairns’ prospector camp donated by Focus Minerals, renovated statues by Vern Potter and renovated museum items by the Coolgardie Men’s Shed. 

Ben Prior Park is considered WA’s oldest open-air mining museum, with Evolution Mining kickstarting the project in August by contributing $188,000. 

The Coolgardie Men’s Shed, Esperance Men’s Shed, Victor Dale, MEEDAC, Vern Potter and Ryan Kippin, all contributed to the revitalisation of the items.   A special installation of a replica windlass was even constructed and donated to the Park by our own Shire President, Malcolm Cullen.

Ben Prior arrived in Coolgardie with his wife and five children in 1932, While prospecting in the area, Prior gathered a large collection of mining and farming equipment that became centrepieces for his park.  He built various statues, with his collection also featuring vintage cars. 

As an outdoor park, the weather has taken its toll on many of the exhibits over the years which prompted the refurbishment project.

It is anticipated that, the newly renovated Park will encourage the 400,000 vehicles that travel through Coolgardie annually to stay and contribute to the town’s economy.

The Shire of Coolgardie will unveil the refurbished park, complete with interpretive signage, in February at a Grand Opening.


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