Mungana, a former mining town (silver/lead, copper and limestone), is 150 km west of Cairns and 15 km west of Chillagoe. The town was one-two kilometres north of the productive Girofla and Lady Jane mines, each near the Mungana smelters.
The town's original name was Girofla, where John Moffat, the foremost north Queensland mining entrepreneur, fired the first smelter in 1897. The Chillagoe smelting company opened a private railway line from Mareeba to Mungana in 1901. Mungana was a frontier mining town where future Queensland Labor Premiers (Ted Theodore and Bill McCormack) received their political training as mine union organisers. When Mungana had passed its peak and was on the verge of being acquired by the government as a State enterprise, Pugh's Queensland Directory (1918) recorded the town as having four hotels and one store.
McCormack and Theodore became embroiled in allegations about their dealings in Mungana and, although found to be innocent of wrong doing, suffered irreparable political damage. The trouble pursued Theodore into his role as Federal Treasurer in the 1930s, with the 'Mungana Affair' indelibly etched on the political map.
Mungana shares with Chillagoe a series of limestone caves which are listed on the Australian heritage register. In 2005 a new gold zone was discovered by Kagara Zinc Ltd. Mungana's census populations were:
K.H. Kennedy, The Mungana affair: state mining and political corruption in the 1920s, St Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1978