was discovered west of the station during the sinking of a railway dam in 1888
by John Henry Reid. A year later, after the visit and examination of the area by
the government Geologist H. Y. L Brown, there was the establishment of
underground workings. However, the No 1 shaft, sunk by the Leigh Creek Coal
Mining Company was abandoned on striking a heavy flow of water.
In 1891, Leigh Creek was renamed to Copley, after the then Commissioner of
Crown Lands, William Copley MP.
In 1892 a new shaft was sunk in the area, but only small quantities of coal
were extracted and operations ceased in 1894. It wasn’t until 1940, when the
State’s coal supplies became precarious as a result of the Second World War,
that any further consideration was given to the Leigh Creek deposits.
During that time the name of Leigh Creek was applied to the railway
station, post office, and later the hotel, despite the town now carrying the
name of Copley.
It wasn’t until 1916 that the name Copley was given to the station and post office,
with only the local hotel stilling bearing the original name to this day.
It was in 1976 that Electricity Trust of South Australia (ETSA) decided to
build a new township called Leigh Creek, with the site being selected and
landscaping established in 1977. Construction started in 1979 and the first
house occupied in 1980.