Boom: The Underground History of Australia, From Gold Rush to GFC, Viking, Melbourne, 2013
The author looks at how mining has shaped Australia, arguing, among other things, that the history of Queensland could be written in terms of the mining of copper.
Although we favour the romantic vision of Australia riding to prosperity on the sheep’s back, in reality we have always owed as much to the shovel. The gold rush kick-started the nation, populating our cities and building our regional centres, and our fortunes have both risen and fallen according to what we’ve been able to dig from the ground. (blurb)
A review is here and the author talks about his book here. An analysis by The Australia Institute of state government subventions to mining is here.