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Ravensthorpe is a town 541 km south-east of Perth, 40 km inland from the south coast of Western Australia. It is the seat of government of the Shire of Ravensthorpe. At the 2006 census, Ravensthorpe had a population of 438.In 1848, the area was surveyed by Surveyor General John Septimus Roe who named many of the geographical features nearby, including the nearby Ravensthorpe Range that the later town was named after. There was also one of the Western Australian Government Railways isolated branch lines between Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe, the line opened in 1909.Alluvial gold was discovered at the Phillips River in 1892. At the goldfield a de facto town emerged, known as Phillips River. The government completed construction of a copper and gold smelter about 2 km south east of the town in 1906, used to cast copper and gold ingots.