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Peter Radanovich can never forgive or forget what happened to his family nearly 80 years ago.

Although the benefits of mining have included great wealth for the nation, the 91-year-old has also seen its destructive effect.

His family's home in Boulder was one of about 88 destroyed in race riots.

Mr Radanovich's family came to Australia in 1901 from Montenegro. He was born in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in 1921. He told his story as part of the SBS three-part series Dirty Business: How Mining Made Australia, to be screened from Sunday.

The Australia Day race riots in 1934 started after an Italian barman killed George Edward Jordan, 29, in a drunken argument. Italians, Greeks and Yugoslavs were targeted.

Mr Radanovich was 12 at the time but remembers vividly police coming to his home and telling his family to flee. After camping in the bush, they returned to find their home and their possessions destroyed by fire.

"I could never forgive . . . it is too much pain to forgive," he said. "We had to go through too much racial discrimination."