Located just off the Eyre Highway about 70km from Port Augusta and 52km from Whyalla, Iron Knob was a key plank in the early development of industrial giant BHP and the birth of the Australian steel industry.
It was here on the Eyre Peninsula that the first iron ore deposit was discovered and the town grew between the twin quarries of Iron Knob and Iron Monarch which fed BHP’s steelworks at Whyalla.
Over the years the ore supply has been supplemented by a series of new mines in the Middleback Ranges. The newest, Iron Duke, opened in 1990.
Quarrying ended at Iron Knob in 1998, but the record of almost 100 years of continuous mining is preserved in a museum in the Iron Knob Community Tourist Centre. The display includes old mining equipment, mineral specimens, interpretive photographs and a film shown in the theatre.
One of the local farming properties, Corunna Station, which lies in the foothills just outside town, hosted the hell-raising Hollywood folk star Robert Mitchum and his co-star, Deborah Kerr, in 1957 during the fmaking of the movie adaption of Jon Cleary's novel, The Sundowners.