Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame Historical Profile – Edward Townley Hardman (1845- 1887)

Edward Townley Hardman was a geologist who discovered payable gold in Western Australia’s Kimberley District
Western Australia

As an inductee in the category of Prospectors and Discoverers, Edward Townley Hardman is recognised for his important role in the first discovery of payable gold at Halls Creek in Western Australia in 1885.

After graduating with a Diploma in Mining from the Royal College of Science in Dublin, he joined the staff of the Geological Survey of Ireland then was chosen by the Colonial Office for the position of Government Geologist in Western Australia. Hardman accompanied expeditions to the Kimberley district in the mid 1880s and after panning for gold in several watercourses, discovered the colony’s first commercial goldfield in the headwaters of the Elvire River, later to become known as Halls Creek.

During his time based in Perth, Hardman was also active in examining the geology of the South West. He is generally credited with being the first to find tin at Greenbushes and to report on the prospects for finding artesian water in the Perth area.

Hardman will always be remembered for his pioneering geological work in Western Australia leading to the first discovery of gold in the East Kimberley and to the beginnings of the State’s mining industry. The success of his work led directly to the establishment of the Geological Survey of Western Australia as the colony’s first scientific organisation.


Tim Griffin

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