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Chillagoe

Chillagoe is a town and locality in northern Queensland, Australia. It is within the local government area of Shire of Mareeba (between 2008 and 2013, it was within the Tablelands Region). It was once a thriving mining town for a range of minerals, but is now reduced to a small zinc mine and some marble quarries. In the 2011 census, Chillagoe had a population of 192 people.Just out of town is the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park containing limestone caves. There are between 600 and 1,000 caves in the Chillagoe-Mungana area. The caves, the spectacular karst landscape and the mining and smelting history are the main tourist attractions to the region.It has been stated by leading geologist Professor Ian Plimer that the Chillagoe region has the most diverse geology in the world.HistoryChillagoe was named by William Atherton in 1888. The name is taken from the refrain of a sea shanty: "Hikey, Tikey, Psyche, Crikey, Chillagoe, Walabadorie". James Mulligan had explored the area in 1873 and Atherton backed up his reports of rich copper outcrops in the area. Mining pioneer John Moffat sent prospectors to the field in 1888 and quickly monopolised the field. A receiving office opened in 1891 (with W. Atherton as Receiving Office Keeper) but closed in 1893. A post office opened in 1900 with F. Donner as the storekeeper and postmaster. The Chillagoe Railway and Mining Company's line opened from Mareeba in 1901 and a Town Reserve was proclaimed 27 October 1910.
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