Iron Knob

Iron Knob is located 40 minutes NW of Whyalla, adjacent to the Eyre Highway. Learn the history of iron ore mining and experience a mine tour.


The Broken Hill Propriety Company Limited (BHP) was granted iron ore leases at Iron Knob in November 1899. Ore was initially used at Port Pirie as a flux during the smelting of silver, lead and zinc ore.

At one time the Iron Knob and Iron Baron mining operations supplied the iron ore for all BHP blast furnaces, but since the development of the Pilbara deposits in WA, the local mines have concentrated on fulfilling Whyalla's needs.

After nearly 100 years, mining at Iron Knob ended in April 1998 when the last ore was taken from the Iron Monarch open cut pit. In 2012, the Iron Monarch pit was re-opened and ore once again transported to Whyalla.

Over the years other mines have been opened to meet demands - Iron Baron in 1933, Iron Prince and Iron Queen in the 1970s; and the most recent major development in 1990 with the opening of Iron Duke 55kms south-west of Whyalla off the Lincoln Highway.

The town has a post office with internet access, camping ground, public toilets and a community tourist centre.

Iron Ore

The mainline is 76kms to Iron Duke. Trains are made up of two locomotives hauling 50 trucks each carrying 60 tonnes of ore - a total of 3,000 tonnes each. Up to four trains per day can be loaded depending on plant requirements.

Tourist Centre

The Community Tourist Centre is well signposted and has also been developed as a mining museum.

It displays old mining equipment, mineral specimens, interpretive displays and photographs, and a theatrette that presents the story of mining in Iron Knob. Visitors can enjoy refreshments and browse the range of souvenirs on sale. Facilities include shady trees, toilets and ample parking.

Open weekdays from 9.00am-3.30pm. Ph. +61 8 8646 2129.

Mine Tours

Guided mine tours depart from the Iron Knob Tourist Centre where a mini-bus transports visitors to where there are views of the original Iron Knob pit and from which work at the Iron Princess and Monarch pits may be seen. Enclosed footwear is compulsory.

Tours are run by volunteers and can be booked in advance via 08 8646 2129.  Tours availible Monday to Friday between 9.15am to 12.30pm and 1.15pm – 2.45pm depending on tour guide availabilty and weather/mining activities permitting.


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Whyalla Visitor Centre, Lincoln Highway
Open: 7 days Mon–Fri 9am–4pm. 
Weekends and public holidays 10am–4pm. 
Closed: Good Friday and Christmas Day 
Phone: (08) 8645 7900 Email:

TOLL FREE: 1800 088 589

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