The Olympic Dam Story
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About the book
The Olympic Dam Story tells for the first time the surprising story behind the 1970s discovery of the world's largest mineral deposit.

Author David Upton explains how Western Mining's pursuit of the best science, teamwork and a dash of good luck led from an exploration base in a suburban garage to a super-giant copper, uranium and gold resource.

The book also describes how Western Mining overcame the main challenges of developing Olympic Dam, a multi-billion dollar project more difficult than ever envisaged with the unexpected discovery of uranium.

By writing for general readers as well as professionals, Upton makes the story accessible to anyone and provides a glimpse inside an industry that underwrites Australia's prosperity.

The Olympic Dam Story is an important addition to mineral exploration history, with 70,000 words and many previously unpublished maps, extracts and personal recollections of key individuals in the search.

The book also includes a foreword by Sir Arvi Parbo.

About the author

David Upton is an Adelaide-born author, writer and communications consultant to business.

He completed a geology degree at Flinders University in 1984, which led to a job as the resources writer at South Australia's major metropolitan daily, The Advertiser. Various roles followed in journalism and corporate communications in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, taking him away from the resources sector and into banking and financial services.

In 2007, he returned to resources journalism by becoming a contributor to a number of resources magazines and online publications.

A series of articles on the Gawler Craton renewed a fascination with the Olympic Dam discovery and the legendary exploration successes of Western Mining.

He is previously published by Pan Macmillan, but decided to self-publish The Olympic Dam Story.

Where to buy

The Olympic Dam Story is available direct by emailing The recommended retail price is $35 plus postage of $per copy (postal charges per book are reduced for orders of three or more copies). 

The Olympic Dam Story is also available from selected Dymocks stores in Adelaide (135 Rundle Mall), Melbourne (234 Collins Street) and Sydney (424 George Street), as well as the Visitor Information Centre in Roxby Downs, South Australia's Department of Primary Industries and Resources and the Mining Hall of Fame, Kalgoorlie. 

ISBN 978-0-646-54381-9