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Zinc Corporation

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Zinc Corporation

Consolidated Zinc was an Australian mining company from 1905 to 1962. The company's initial operations focused on extracting zinc from mine tailings of the Broken Hill Ore Deposit at Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.[1] The company was founded in Melbourne on 9 September 1905 as the Zinc Corporation Limited, to exploit residual zinc concentrations with an estimated value of $12 million in the 6 million tons of mine tailings deposited from mining activities over the previous 20 years. Key figures involved in the effort included William Baillieu and William Sydney Robinson.[2] Also involved was future U.S. president Herbert Hoover, who inspected the tailing dumps as a mining engineer in the group's investigations prior to formation of the company.[3]

The company established concentrating mills in 1905 and 1910, and in 1911 expanded into primary mining activities with the purchase of the South Blocks company, constructing underground mines[3] and mining for zinc, lead, silver[4] and gold[5] in the Broken Hill area. In 1949, Zinc Corporation merged with Imperial Smelting Corporation to become Consolidated Zinc.[5] In 1953, Haddon King became chief geologist.[6]

Over time, the company built up substantial financial resources but failed to develop suitable new mining projects. This led to a merger in 1962 with the Rio Tinto Company, a company who found itself in a complementary position of having substantial development opportunities but not enough financial resources with which to pursue them. The resulting company, known as The Rio Tinto - Zinc Corporation (RTZ), and its main subsidiary, Conzinc Riotinto of Australia (CRA), would eventually become today's Rio Tinto Group.[4]

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