The Mascot Gold Mine operated from 1936 to 1949 – a short, but profitable, life. In all, 7.1 tonnes of gold was extracted, worth close to $130 million (in 2005).
The Mascot was a tricky place to build a mine, clinging to the side of a steep mountainside. Pat Wright, a packer and guide from Princeton, recalls: “I packed in the cement for the footings, bits of scrap iron and stuff.” Eventually trucks were able to approach the site and once they unloaded, a small tram lowered the materials down to the main level.
Ore from the mine was transported down the mountain to a mill on the valley floor using an aerial tramline. The tram was 1433 meters (4700 feet) in length, supported by six steel towers, and ran at an angle of about 40 degrees up the slope. Many miners used this tramline to travel back and forth between the mine and Hedley – a thrilling commute!