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10 - Mt Lyell Chemical Works Stairs

Mt Lyell Chemical Works Stairs

The Mt Lyell Chemical Works was established in Rocky Bay in 1910. They produced acids and superphosphate fertilisers for farming, which were essential for crop propagation, due to the lack of nutrients in Western Australian soils.

In 1927, they merged with Cumming Smith and Company, the only other fertiliser company in Western Australia.

British Petroleum (BP) acquired a third of the company in 1964, which led to the company changing their name to Cumming Smith British Petroleum (CSBP).

Five years later, the company moved to Kwinana. This was partially a result of pressure from the State Government to rid the area of any industrial sites as the nearby housing estates were expanding. They left behind extensive contamination of the soil from the heavy metals and chemical by-products used to manufacture fertilisers. Waste had also spilled into the river and the foreshore.

Upon a site clean-up and removal of the drainage systems, the site and surrounding area was sold to developers to build what is now, the housing estate overlooking the river in Mosman Park.

Stairs that appeared to have been built rather steep judging from the embankment back in the day, were built here in order to access the pump house, some 20m east on the foreshore.

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