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Biographical entry Thureau, Gustav Adolph Hugo (1831 - 1901)

5 July 1831
Clausthal, Hanover, Germany
9 March 1901
North Carlton, Victoria, Australia
Geologist and Mining engineer


Gustav Thureau was the first mines inspector and geologist appointed to Government service in Tasmania. Arriving in South Australia in 1849 he worked for a short time as an ore dresser in Burra Burra before moving to Victoria. Between 1852 and 1878 Thureau worked on various Victorian goldfields including Forest Creek, Maryborough, Ararat, Malmsbury Ballarat, Daylesford and Warrandyte, ultimately becoming manager and inspector of mining companies. He came to be regarded as an authority of the mining and geology of central Victoria and published on a number of articles on mineral deposits. For some time he was mining reporter for the Bendigo Advertiser and from 1875 to 1877 lectured on geology as it applied to mining and mineralogy at the Bendigo School of Mines. In 1877 he was delegated to visit California to study mining methods and innovations. After undertaking contract work evaluating mineral resources for the Tasmanian Government, in 1882 Thureau was appointed Inspector of Mines (styled Inspector and Mining Geologist from 1885). For ten years after retiring in 1889 worked as a mining consultant in Launceston, Tasmania, and Melbourne. The Thureau Hills, near Queenstown, Tasmania, and a number of fossils have been named after him.



Education - Graduated from Royal Academy of Mines, Clausthal, Germany
Life event - Migrated to Australia
Life event - Naturalised as a citizen of Victoria
Award - Elected Fellow, Geological Society of London
1875 - 1877
Career position - Lecturer in geology, Bendigo School of Mines
1877 -
Career position - delegate of Bendigo School of Mines to investigate mining in California
1882 - 1889
Career position - Inspector of Mines (and Mining Geologist), Tasmanian Government
1883 -
Career event - Foundation Member, Victorian Engineers Association
Career position - Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Tasmania
Life event - Naturalised as a citizen of Tasmania
Life event - Retired
1896 - 1901
Career position - Member, Geological Society of Australasia

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • McMullen, G.L., 'Gustav Thureau, the first Tasmanian Inspector of Mines and Government Mining geologist', Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 150, no. 1, 2016, pp. 39-49. Details
  • McMullen, Gabrielle L., 'An Able Practical and Scientific Man: Gustav Adolph Hugo Thureau, German Trained Mining Gelogist', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 11, no. 2, 1996, pp. 149-177. Also available at Details
  • Preston, Keith, 'Mount Victoria goldfield, Tasmania: a case of unfulfilled potential?', Journal of Australasian Mining History, vol. 11, 2011, pp. 183-98. Details

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker and Helen Cohn