Charters Towers would not have existed were it not for the discovery of gold. We followed what you might call the supply chain story today which included a visit to the Venus Battery. It’s here that miners took their ore to be smashed to bits, splashed with mercury and soaked in cyanide to get the very most out of it for their effort. Charters Towers is extremely hot in summer. This was a sweaty, noisy, dusty and chemically dangerous place for anyone to work.
Everything associated with gold digs was established in Charters Towers, including a Stock Exchange, countless banks and pubs, and what were euphemistically referred to as dance houses. The article from The Northern Miner of 12 February 1880 may provide some clues.