What is significant? Wattle Gully Mine holds a pivotal position in the history of the State's quartz mining industry. The rich strike at Wattle Gully mine in 1937 helped revive the State's gold mining industry that had been in the doldrums since the First World War. Wattle Gully, and a handful of other 'new' companies - the Maude and Yellow Girl, Morning Star, A 1, and North Deborah - were the flagships of the revived industry and sustained the State's gold production for some 30 years. Wattle Gully mine, with a yield of 350,000 ounces, was the richest mine of its era. By 1940, the Wattle Gully Company had paid out £207,000 in dividends to its shareholders. The company continued to mine profitably through the Second World War, though it struggled due to a shortage of manpower.
After the war, the mine continued to develop - in the early 1950s new plant including a winding engine, steel poppet head, and twenty-head battery was added. The plant was obtained from the Central Nell Gwynne Company, Bendigo. On 13 March 1969, the Wattle Gully Company closed down the mine, laying off 62 men. Since 1970 Wattle Gully mine has worked intermittently. Recent additions to the mine's infrastructure has been a new ore processing plant and a decline tunnel. The ore processing plant was operated by Newmont mining from 1987 to 1990 and subsequently operated by Consolidated Victorian Mines and Duketon Goldfields. The mine site has retained evidence of its development since 1937 with its most recent periods of equipment upgrades in the 1950s and 1980s being documented by buildings, structures and intact and working machinery.
How is it significant? The Wattle Gully Gold Mine is of historical and scientific (technical) significance to the State of Victoria.
Why it is significant? The Wattle Gully Gold Mine is historically significant as the most tangible expression of State's quartz mining industry. The mine is also of outstanding historical significance as being the flagship of this industry during the middle decades of the twentieth century.
The Wattle Gully Gold Mine is of scientific (technical) significance for possessing rare and functional examples of a once plentiful technology in the form of 'traditional-type' shaft mining and ore crushing machinery. The retention of the 1950s machinery, buildings and structures, and the associated fittings and fixtures that were added later to modernise the mine are all crucial to the significance of the place. The relatively intact late 1980s cyaniding plant and the associated tailings dams and reservoir to the south from the same period demonstrate the changing technology of gold extraction in the late twentieth century. These elements combine to provide a unique illustration of the duration of a mining technology that was first introduced to Victoria in the mid-1850s. The old 'abandoned' section of the mine also provides a strong educational experience of stepping into the shoes of the recently departed gold miners.