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Nullagine is an old goldrush town in Western Australia's Pilbara region. It is located on the Nullagine River 296 km south-east of Port Hedland and 1,364 km north-north-east of Perth on the old Great Northern Highway.
The town originated from gold being discovered in the area in 1886 by a prospector, N.W. Cooke. The population increased sharply as a result and by the mid-1890s the community wanted to have a town declared. Lots were surveyed and released in 1897 and the state government gazetted the town in 1899.
Nullagine comes from the Aboriginal name of a nearby river, the Ngullagine river; the meaning of the word is unknown.Besides gold other minerals were mined in the area including diamonds and other gemstones.Between 1895 and 1914 the town boomed and contained a number of general stores, three hotels, eight stamp mills and a population of over 3,000.Its population was 1,500 prior to World War II. Now, with the decline of gold mining, only about 200 remain. However the town still attracts fossickers and prospectors who visit the surrounding area, which is particularly rich in minerals such as gold, agate, asbestos, beryl, chalcedony, jade, jasper, tiger eye and ores of antimony, copper, manganese and tungsten.
The town is also the place of the Yirrangadji Aboriginal Community. The Martu people make up the bulk of this population.