Broken Hill, in far western New South Wales, is Australia’s foremost mineral locality. More than 300 species have been recorded from the region's sulphide ore body and its weathered exposures since mining operations commenced in 1883.
It is the type locality for 11 species and there are also many rare and unusual minerals. Data on individual specimens, as well as many colour images, have led to the publication of two major books on these minerals.
The Broken Hill Mineral Collection contains approximately 3600 specimens from Broken Hill. These have been acquired mainly through donations by mining companies, acquisition of significant private collections and field collecting by museum staff.
Noteworthy is the collection of secondary minerals from the Kintore and Block 14 open cuts, obtained during mining operations between the 1970s and 1990s. Research on the material from this collecting period has added more than 70 additional species to the record.
Of international significance for its diversity of species, the collection also has considerable research and exhibition potential, as many of the species are compositionally unusual and in attractive combinations of crystals.
As mining operations in the region have been considerably scaled down, much of the material in the collections can never be replaced.