The Golden Years Of WMC

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
Early in 1930 William S. Robinson, Managing Director of Zinc Corporation Ltd., anticipated a rise in the price of gold and a devaluation of the Australian currency. 'WS', as Robinson was known, formed a.syndicate in London, which later became incor- porated as Gold Mines of Australia Limited (GMA) to invest in gold mining properties in Australia. GMA examined many prospects and subsequently undertook the development of several mines in eastern Australia. The syndicate also held a number of options and several large reservations for gold exploration in Western Australia over which it was proposed to carry out an aerial survey and thorough scien- tific assessment. To do this Western Mining Corporation Limited (WMC) was incorporated in Melbourne on the 2nd March 1933. The founding chairman of WMC and GMA was the highly respected `Collins House' figure, Sir Colin Fraser. The aerial survey was carried out, and a group of eminent geol- ogists from Harvard University examined many prospects and identified several which warranted development. To finance these activities `WS' formed Gold Exploration and Finance Co. of Aus- tralia Ltd. (GEFCA), in London in July 1934. GEFCA ultimately held 95% of WMC and 62% of GMA. The finance came mostly from London based South African mining companies which had been subscribers to his earlier syndicate plus some American inves- tors. (The Group Structure in 1936 is shown in Appendix `B").
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