Brief history of Agnew
Paddy Lawlers' prospecting party were responsible for the discovery of gold at Lamehorse Soak in 1894, approximately 10km south of Agnew. The Great Eastern and Donegal leases were pegged in the same year and mining commenced. The discovery and subsequent mining of the Waroonga, Glasgow Lass, New Holland and Cinderella areas all commenced before 1899. East Murchison United commenced the mining of nine underground levels at Main Lode in 1935 and the mine was operational until 1948.
In 1976, Western Mining Corporation (WMC) purchased the Waroonga leases and in 1984 Forsayth NL purchased the Great Eastern leases and modern open pit mining commenced at both Waroonga (450 South) and Lawlers in the mid-1980s. Additional discoveries at Redeemer (1985), Cox-Crusader (1987) and Genesis (1990) ensured that both the Emu and Lawlers mills operated at capacity while additional open pit discoveries at New Holland (1991) and Fairyland (1997) were made before underground mining commenced at New Holland in 1998.
The Lawlers operation was purchased by Plutonic Resources from Forsayth in 1992 and was subsequently acquired by Homestake in 1998. During 2001, Barrick merged with Homestake and Gold Fields acquired Agnew from WMC. The Kim South lode at Waroonga was discovered in 2002, as was Songvang OP, with production commencing in 2002 and 2004 respectively. Gold Fields concluded the acquisition of the neighbouring Lawlers mine from Barrick in October 2013.