British Universities Film & Video Council

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Spotlight On Broken Hill


Series Name
Rhodesian Spotlight


Issue No.
Length of issue (in feet)
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Northern Rhodesia Swimming Championships
  2. 2Fed-Wide Flashes
  3. 3When the Salmon are Running
  4. 4Spotlight On Broken Hill


Story No. within this Issue
4 / 4
Rhodesian Spotlight synopsis: The Spotlight falls on Broken Hill where thriving Zinc and Lead production are maintaining prosperity. Good Native Housing and an excellent hospital are features of Broken Hill, and so too are the old Hydro Electric schemes which supply the town with power.
Rhodesian Spotlight Commentary - Started just over 50 years ago the Broken Hill Mine is still among the Federation’s most valuable and progressive. Until about 10 years ago mining was done in these open-cast workings, and the mine took its name from the Broken Hill Mine in Australia where the rock formation was similar. The miners no longer have to toil in the blazing sun, underground mining has replaced this sort of thing. Interesting prehistorical relics were found here in 1921, and at one time the mine produced Vandium. But the main products now are Zinc - about 2400 tons a month - a metal with an extensive worldwide demand, and in addition to Zinc about 1500 tons of Lead are produced every month. Around the mine, the town of Broken Hill has thrived and prospered. It has an interesting past and a promising future. Broken Hill has always been a staging post for travellers to the North, and the famous Big Tree, the camp site of the pioneers, remains an honoured landmark.
Most of Broken Hill’s 40,000 Africans are housed in neat compound houses, while both they and the towns 4000 European residents are served by a magnificent hospital. Built at a cost of a million pounds, it lays claim to being among the most modern and best equipped in the Federation. Yes, much has been achieved in the last 50 years and both Europeands and Africans are reaping the benefits of Broken Hill’s progress.
On Rhodesia’s Railway system the town still fulfills its old role as a staging post. The line to the Copperbelt was completed in 1908, linking up with Bulawayo and the South. Now with its 14 lines, its workshops and coaling facilities, it is Northern Rhodesia’s main railway depot.
Broken Hill is served by two of the oldest Hydro Electric schemes. One draws its power from Luansemfwa about 65 miles away. Here the water is harnessed before it goes thundering down the penstocks, with a drop of nearly 400 feet, to the power station itself.
Here water from the Mulungosti dam is used in a parallel but entirely separate scheme.
Mulungosti and Luansemfwa together produce 34 Megawatts and from here the total output is transmitted to Broken Hill - becoming the life blood of a thriving community.
Buildings and structures; Health and medicine; Railways; Mining; History and archaeology; Energy resources
Written sources
Movietone boxfile no.1   Used for synopsis
Production Co.
Central African Film Unit
Length of story (in feet)

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Film Archive

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