The former copper mining towns of Ballara and Hightville and Wee McGregor railway tunnel have been giving heritage listing.
The collection of North West Queensland mining infrastructure, which flowered briefly around the First World War, has been entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.
The heritage listing of the site on the Fountain Springs dirt road around 80km from Mount Isa is the culmination of years of work by the Ballara Mining Heritage Trail Committee (BMHTC).
BMHTC committee president Gary Baker said the heritage listing was a milestone for heritage recognition, which he hoped would lead to conservation of other local sites.
"The Wee MacGregor tunnel and the towns of Ballara and Hightville are well known locations to the locals of Cloncurry and Mount Isa," Mr Baker said.
"The site represents the pioneering efforts of some of the first industry in the district. The rail line to Ballara contributed to the development of the district and helped forge the larger communities of Cloncurry and Kuridala in the early 1900s."
Mr Baker said the 4.5km line had seven bridges between Ballara and Hightville.
"The engineering involved in construction of that line was recognised as world class in its day," he said.
Queensland Heritage Council Chair Debbie Best said the heritage place half way between between Cloncurry and Mount Isa, highlights the major role played by copper mining in the Queensland economy during the early 20th century.
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"This astounding collection of infrastructure was used by the Hampden Mining Company to mine for copper ore from Wee MacGregor prior to World War I," Ms Best said.
"The Wee MacGregor tram and rail complex, and the former towns of Ballara and Hightville, show how vitally important the railways were to the economic viability of remote mines.
"The short lifespans of the tramway (1915-21), the railway (1914-29), and the towns of Hightville (c1909-20) and Ballara (1914-26) are indicative of the temporary nature of many of Queensland's mining towns and associated railways, and their vulnerability to fluctuating commodity prices.
"Now somewhat in ruins, and set in a remote and desolate landscape, the Wee MacGregor tram and rail complex evokes a sense of isolation and abandonment-and gives us a sense of the hardship experienced by those who lived and worked there."
Places entered in the Heritage Register are considered important to Queensland's history and are protected under heritage legislation.
Mr Baker said the BMHTC would now put up signage at the site to say it was now heritage listed.
"We're also hoping to have interpretative signage at the Mary Kathleen Museum in Cloncurry to tie it all together," he said.
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