Mount Chalmers, a former mining town and now a locality, is 15 km north-east of Rockhampton. It is situated in a region that had two other significant mining towns, Cawarral (gold, discovered 1863) and Mount Wheeler (gold, discovered 1868).

It was reported in 1860 that gold was found at Mount Chalmers, but mining did not start until 1869. It was short-lived. A later miner, Chalmers (after whom the rocky outcrop was named) brought in a five-head battery, and a succession of syndicates worked the area. In 1899, with copper prices at a high level, the Mount Chalmers copper mining company began operations, but again with indifferent profits.

In 1907 Melbourne investors installed costly plant for separating gold from copper, and the following year the railway line from Rockhampton to Yeppoon, via Mount Chalmers, was opened. Copper smelters were erected and more furnaces were installed in 1912. During this period Mount Chalmers reached a population of over 1100 people - some accounts say 2000 - and Pugh's Queensland Directory (1913) recorded five hotels, three drapers (including a branch of Stewarts, Rockhampton), bookmakers, tobacconists and other storekeepers.

By then copper prices had fallen, wiping out any prospects of profit. Operations ended in 1914. The five-day disposal sale was Mount Chalmers's best-attended event. There were brief resurgences of mining in 1935, 1942 and 1979, when open-cut operations were tried. They were stopped by a labour dispute that emanated from Mount Morgan.

The journey by road to Rockhampton is 25 km, and Mount Chalmers has become something of a commuting-distance dormitory town.

Mount Chalmers had a provisional school (1901) that became a state school in 1909 and closed on 31 December 2006.

Mount Chalmers census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

Leo Carpenter, ed, Livingstone: a history of the Shire of Livingstone, Brisbane, Boolarong Publications for Livingstone Shire Bicentennial Community Committee, 1991

History of Mount Chalmers 1869-1978, Mount Chalmers P & C Association, 1978


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