The BUG is here. BUG being a new organisation recently formed by several independent organisations who have an interest in Victorian Forests. Among the members are the Timber Communities Australia, Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria, the Victorian Apiarists Association, the Victorian Eucalyptus Distillers Association, Construction Materials Processing Association, Confederation of Australian Motor Sports, Broken Boosey Land holders and Field and Game Australia. Their combined strength will undoubtedly add to the rising chorus of voices against the proposals of the EEC, and hopefully force the EEC and the Government to a more pragmatic approach to the proposals.
Next month we will be looking at the innovative development pioneered by Coiltek to improve depth by converting power sources - that maximise power for longer periods. It is indeed innovative and an inexpensive modification to the SD Series of Minelabs Detectors.
There is a clear move coming from the US at the moment to purchase gold. Now we all know that when an economy is in difficulty there is a move to purchase gold. Does this mean that the price will lift? - who knows - we can only hope, but I can report that Gold Net was asked this month to supply gold in large amounts to US sources.
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2. HIDDEN GOLD FIELDS
by Brad Williams
Somewhere out there lies a treasure trove of gold still yet to be discovered. Those of us who detect and have even the slightest interest in gold believe that, or we would not be out there as often as we can - seeking that illusive hidden treasure.
Now to say that most of the gold in the Golden Triangle of Victoria has been recovered, may well have a ring of truth to it - but out there in that giant triangle of auriferous ground there is sure to be a lot of hidden treasures yet to be discovered. I might add that, as a great deal of Australia is auriferous, the amount of gold in redeemable quantities yet to be recovered might surprise.
We all know of the fabulously wealthy auriferous ground throughout the Western Australian gold fields, and undoubtedly there are a lot of golden areas yet to be discovered in that region. Only a year ago a large payable gold field was discovered only 20 kilometres from Kalgoorlie. One would expect with gold being sought in that area for over 100 years that a gold area of this magnitude would have been discovered already - but not so. Golden areas are still out there to be discovered.
The vast expanses of outback Australia certainly hold many golden secrets. Perhaps one of the least explored - yet with some incredibly auriferous areas is the Gawler Craton area of South Australia. A huge area to the west - and north of Port Augusta - contains vast wealth that is yet to be discovered. We are aware of gold at Tarcoola - and throughout this entire region there are huge auriferous areas that may well hold significant gold reserves beyond our wildest dreams.
To give some indication of the vast gold that is locked in this area, one only needs to look at the gold operations of Western Mining at the Olympic Dam Mine. Some 6.5 tons of gold was recovered from this mine during the last fiscal year. Now that's a lot of gold. It should be remembered that Olympic Dam mine is essentially a copper mine. Undoubtedly the massive area of auriferous country in this region must hide gold that is there is vast quantities and yet to be discovered.
There is also an area in the north of South Australia near the border of the Northern Territory that is extremely auriferous. Now exactly where this area is I do not know. I have just seen the gold that is coming from there in astounding quantities, and with monotonous regularity. I guess that will be something for the serious prospector to research and work out.
The great expanses of the Northern Territory, for many years hid the great Tanami auriferous area. Now mainly under leases, this area is a bonanza of gold to those who take the time to visit this remotest of remote places. Yes, it is a long way from anywhere and way out in the desert, but the gold that is still yet to be found in this region is clearly abundant. Just remember to take a cut lunch and a water bag if you head out that way.
Another area of interest that is largely overlooked is the Adelaide hills.
Although gold was not found in copious quantities here, there are a number of areas of significant interest. There is a triangular area from Echunga, Meadows and Macclesfield, with significant auriferous areas that break through to the surface in irregular patterns.
Throughout this area the creeks mostly contain fine gold and old timers will tell you that many a prospector used to wash gold from these creeks during the winter when the creeks were running.
There are a number of areas in this region that hide old gold mines. Most are now on private land but there are some that still exist on public land. They are not easy to locate - but generally are located in an arc southeast - southwest from Echunga. Traces of gold in the creeks indicate more gold in greater quantities elsewhere.
I had heard of an old gold mine in the vicinity of Tea Tree Gully, in the foot hills close to Adelaide. In recent months I had done some research in an effort endeavour to locate this "lost" mine. After pouring over old maps and old papers etc. looking for evidence of this mine, I pin pointed an area and on weekends would walk through this area seeking out any tell tale signs.
After many weeks, I thought that the mine was going to remain hidden.
There are many areas throughout Australia where both new and old gold mines and areas are yet to be discovered. It is just a matter of either recognising auriferous ground or researching old maps, archives and historical society material for a wealth of information that lies there for the taking.
For me, I am taking a look at the bottom end of the Finnis River before the winter ends. I did some research on that river not that long ago. It made for interesting reading. I'll let you know what I find.
3. KALGOORLIE'S ATTRACTIONS
by Sue "Goldie" Reynolds
Have you ever been to Kalgoorlie? Well Kal as its known locally is a long way from anywhere. But hidden within Kalgoorlie and its surrounds lies a wealth of attractions that stand as a living testament to the heart of this outback community.
The gold history of this region dominates the tourist attractions, and rightly so. To the north of the town on the Goldfields Highway lies Hannans North Historic Mining Reserve. Underground tours encapsulate and mesmerise those interested in the old golden past.
A little further to the north is the Bush 2 Up Ring. Now 2 Up, is uniquely Australian. It is a game where participants bet on the prospects of two "pennies" landing odds or evens. That is with the heads of both coins facing upwards after they have been tossed into the air - being evens - and with a head and the other side of the coin - commonly known as "tails" being odds. It is a game that is generally illegal these days except for certain occasions and in certain locations. Like this bush location.
Within Kalgoorlie itself lies the outstanding Museum of the Goldfields. A magnificent display of gold fields memorabilia, nuggets, jewellery and working displays. You can take a lift to the top of the mineframe for a spectacular view of the city. This facility is open from 10am to 4pm daily. This exhibit is well worth a visit.
Perhaps the most outstanding attraction at Kalgoorlie - is the Golden Mile Super Pit gold mine. This massive open cut mine - boasts its origins as part of the richest square mile of gold bearing earth ever discovered, on earth.
Take a ride on the Loopline Tourist Railway. This rail line was once the busiest in Western Australia. Today the loop line takes just one hour to travel around the Golden Mile. It leaves from the Boulder City Railway Station, from Monday to Saturday at 10am. On Sundays and Public Holidays there are two departure times - 10am and 11.45am.
Perhaps the most recognised attraction in Kalgoorlie, is the statue of Paddy Hannan himself. The unobtrusive little miner who is credited with finding this fabulous wealth. His replica statue stands, or should I more correctly say sits, as a timely reminder to all who visit this place that Paddy was indeed a great pioneer in this vast and forbidding land.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre south west of the town displays the history of this unique and necessary service that originated over 70 years ago and was pioneered by John Flynn. Flynn was a minister of religion whose foresight in bringing medical aid to the vast expanses of the outback by organising planes to fly the seriously ill and injured from remote stations to larger centres where medical help was available is legendary.
Another major site of significant interest - well it certainly was to the lonely minors of yesteryear, is the legal brothel, known as Langtrees 181, that is now not only a working business, but also a major tourist attraction in the town. A $3,000,000 redevelopment of this once well known whorehouse was recently completed and bus loads of interested tourists inspect this unique facility daily, which also has a museum relating to the "ladies of the night".
There are an amazing number of tours that commence from Kalgoorlie. Tours that display the aboriginal heritage of this area - with over night stays visiting the Wongi Tribe. Enjoy the culture and the history of these unique and clever people and enjoy their "bush tucker". That is the food that they find in the bush and eat on a daily basis, to sustain them. To understand the aboriginal culture cannot be done in such a short time - but at least it gives the visitor a snap shot of the incredible talents of these indigenous people. To see how well they can track and "read" ground signs is an eye opening experience. I enjoy time with aboriginal communities, as their talents are unbelievable.
Of course there are a host of gold tours and safaris, that provide a wealth of different adventures from a few hours to fully catered outback detecting safaris, over several days or even weeks.
One of the most spectacular sites in and around Kalgoorlie are the wild flowers.
Throughout this desert region where rainfall is some years almost non - existent the proliferation of native wildflowers in bloom as far as the eye can see, is an attraction that draws tourists from all corners of the globe.
There are many more places of interests and things to do in and around Kalgoorlie that can take up a great deal of time. However, to the enthusiastic traveller, they are all of interest in this unique place on earth, that is Kalgoorlie.
4. THE LONG TUNNEL EXTENDED MINE
by Laurelle Murphy
Walhalla has a long and colourful golden history. None more interesting that the story of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine. The imposing grandeur of the surrounding mountains, known as the Baw Baw Plateau, provides a backdrop of outstanding beauty with crystal clear streams and crisp, pure, fresh air, and woodlands that refresh the soul.
Cohens Reef, known as one of the great gold producing reefs in Australia attaches significance to the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine, as this mine aligns with the northern end of the reef. Much of this mine has been maintained in original condition and has been well preserved. With a history that started in 1865 and concluding in 1911, this mine has a colourful history.
Over the entire period of this mines productive life - it produced a staggering 13.7 tonnes of gold. Over US $50,000,000, in its lifetime. The Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine was publicly subscribed to and for the investors provided outstanding returns for over 6 years from 1885 to 1908. In fact in 1896 and 1897, the dividends exceeded the paid up capital. Now that's a good investment if ever I saw one. Overall the dividends to investors was over 14 times the paid up share capital.
It is of interest to know that immediately adjacent to the Long Tunnel Gold Mine, the Renown Mine operated from 1929 to 1936 with very limited success. Just the luck of the lie of the gold.
The mine featured 8.5 kilometres (5 miles) of tunnels underground, reaching a depth of 923 metres below the machinery chamber which was itself 150 metres underground. In imperial terms that's about 3,500 feet down.
The main machinery chamber was constructed in 1875 and was completed in 1876. In later years it was extended as required. It contained winding gear, boilers, compressors, pumps and engines. The difficulty of the terrain in the vicinity may have been the main reason behind the machinery chamber being located underground.
The location of the gold at Walhalla brought out the best in ingenuity of the minds of men. Many of the buildings at Walhalla perch upon precarious projections of very limited areas of level ground. The fire engine shed was constructed over Stringers Creek, and to this day houses the towns fire appliance.
Because of the limited level ground - the town is well spread out along Stringers Creek over several kilometres. Hidden away among the small gullies that abound in the area under dense foliage, old mining gear lies rusting slowly away. It indicates just how much mining was undertaken here in bygone days.
In recent years the local community has moved to re-open the Long Tunnel as a tourist attraction. Walhalla is close to the metropolis of Melbourne with some 3.5 million residents. With the support of the local Shire of Narracan, coupled with support from the Victorian Government and Federal Government the project is bound to succeed.
The location and situation of the mine will allow an outstanding tourist venue to be developed. Future work restoring the Machinery Chamber and Surface Tramways a well as the Battery site will enhance the tourist potential.
Day tours are presently being offered at 1.30pm. weekdays. On weekends, school and public holidays, tours commence at 1.30, 2.30, and 3.30 daily. These tours take about 45 minutes to complete.
This unique area is indeed spectacular. There are many other outstanding opportunities in the Walhalla area to enjoy the pristine wilderness that surrounds and almost smothers Walhalla. A visit to Baw Baw National Park during the warmer months reveals the true wilderness nature of this imposing and magnificent region. The fauna and flora in this region is both impressive and abundant. When you visit the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine at Walhalla, stay a while and enjoy this area. You will be enriched.
5. COILTEK'S UFO SEACH COIL
by Jim Foster
I was stuffed! I had been walking all afternoon swingin' the wand. I had prospected slopes, gullies, flats, and anything else that looked good. I was heading back towards our vehicles when I saw Cheryl standing with Lyn & Gerry looking at a slight rise. Coming at it from the end furthest from them I suddenly came on old dry blow heaps and some old scrapes. Well hit me with a pick and call me as thick as cap-rock! While I'd been walking for hours over hill and latarite covered flats, Cheryl had found a beaut looking spot less than a hundred metres from the vehicles. And what was more she had two nice chunky nuggets she had found on it.
Walking around I checked the place out. It was only a couple of acres in size but looked good. It had been pushed with a small dozer many years before, but the ground was deep, much deeper than the scrapes. I could smell the gold deep down there! This was the second spot I had seen in two days, that was deep ground and where nuggets had come from.
I began to think about the problem. I needed something that would go really DEEP. The coils we had were OK but others already had them too and possibly they had used them here. What I needed was something new in the way of search coils with the ability to go deeper than anything previous.
"Would it go deep?" I had asked the folk at Coiltek.
After these reassuring words I was convinced it was the coil for me. Back on that slight rise Cheryl had found I made my first gridding run with the chain dragging behind me and the UFO waving in front. First round, nothing. Second round, a very wide and quiet but definite signal pulled me up. I was using my SD2200D in fixed with everything else standard. Flipping to Tracking Mode I waved the coil gently over the target.
The signal quickly faded as the 2200D tuned it out. I spat out a curse. It seemed the signal was most likely hot ground. But wise to the ways of the SD2200D I circled the coil around the target then flipped back into fixed. The signal came back loud and strong.
By the time I was down eighteen inches I was beginning to wonder if I'd missed the target - gone down past it. Then along came Lyn with a nice little 11" double D coil that fitted easily down the beginnings of a hole to rival Kalgoorlie's Super Pit. No, I hadn't missed it and the signal volume was nearly blowing her ears off.
The UFO had more than paid for itself with the first nugget!
That was the biggest nugget off that spot. The smallest weighed only 1.3 grams but came in very sharp from several inches down.
Am I happy with the UFO? You betcha!
6. THE BUG IS HERE
by Brad Williams
Bush users from a wide area met recently in Seymour to form a State wide action group determined to ensure continued access to all public land in the box and ironbark region of Victoria.
The Bush Users Group (BUG) has been formed to fight proposals by the Environment Conservatin Council (ECC) to restrict access to many areas of public land in central and northern Victoria.
The ECC's Box Ironbark Forests and Woodlands investigation has recommended many new parks and reserves which will affect access for prospecting, dog-walking, horse-riding, timber cutting, mining, apiary, hinting, camping, firewood collecting and many other traditional activities.
At a State level, BUG represents concerned industries and associations, including Timber Communities Australia, Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria, the Victorian Apiarists Association, the Victorian Eucalyptus Distillers Association, Construction Materials Processing Association, Confederation of Australian Motor Sports, Broken Boosey Land holders and Field and Game Australia. Other land user groups are expected to join soon.
BUG members say that the ECC's Report is typical of bureaucratic nonsense in that it gives little, if any, sound scientific evidence to support the proposed restrictions and the many significant errors in the Report have been ignored by the ECC.
BUG claims that the public have quietly accepted the many new restrictions and regulations placed on bush activities over recent years but now believe that the rights of individuals have been ignored long enough and it is time to make a stand.
Spokesperson for BUG - Victoria, Tracee Spiby, today said "it is time that all Bush Users united and gave a clear message to Government that they have had enough of being pushed around. We are also sick of the misinformation being spread and the resultant confused image some people have on this issue."
The first local Bush Users Group has been formed in the Mount Alexander Shire with community based members including horse-riders, dog walkers, firewood collectors and trail bike riders - all of whom are concerned about proposed changes to bush access, President if the local BUG, Robin Taylor, believes that thisnwill be the first of many local BUG's. New BUG's are well under way in Maryborough, Bendigo, Beechworth, Ballarat and Shepparton, Mr. Taylor explained.
Ms. Spiby said "the box ironbark region covers many marginal seats and these politicians will have to make sure that they both listen to and act on local concerns if they want to retain their positions at the next election".
Anyone wishing to make contact with BUG's should phone Tracee Spiby on
(03) 5856 1236
7. FLECKS ! - Glints from here and there
David Legge is the Managing Director Of Kimberley Mining & Exploration Services P/L. David would very much appreciate readers comments/suggestions to the following proposition and if possible circulated to others for general discussion and feedback.
OVERVIEW - PROPOSAL - AIMS - METHOD OF OPERATION - OPEN DISCUSSION
From the beginning it has been the private prospector who opened up the mineral wealth of Australia often under extreme hardship and deprevation on a daily basis just to feed himself and his family.
Many of the so called big strikes by the large companies owe everything to these prospectors who showed the way but didn't have the means to develop their finds any further. It is still happening today.
Whereas modern exploration techniques have made the discovery of ore bodies easier in the majority of cases the prospector has been there first, but did not have the means available to them to assess what was denied by the naked eye under the overburden surrounding them.
The tendancy these days is "bigger is better" and is almost something of a big company ego trip to out do the other companies in ounces found. It ignores the thousands of smaller possibilities that combined would far outway the total produced from these "big" finds. Its a situation crying out to be developed.
What is required is the developement of plant/mill processing that will efficiently, economically and environmentally mine the smaller deposits most of which have already been found by the prospector's or, the prospector has indications on the ground as to the possibility of this or even larger deposits waiting to be developed given the financial and technical support to the prospector.
While large mining and exploration companies are at present treading water waiting for the price of gold to soar the US spot price of gold compared to the $AU is steady [generally speaking if the US spot price of gold goes down so does the $AU ] and this is the time to be seeking out ground before the inevitable rush is back on and the large companies start taking up the ground and squeezing the small prospector out again.
I would guarantee that on any given day there are more prospectors in the field throughout Australia actively seeking metals/minerals than any or even a combination of large exploration companies.
This is the essence of the proposition:
Kimberley Mining & Exploration Services P/L is prepared to restructure the company so as to offer prospectors, in the main, a 49% shareholding in the company [including the current exploration licences held by Kimberley].
1) Prospective ground will be submitted by prospectors for evaluation and the following information shall be researched
Phone: (02) 6373 7707
ED NOTE: This is not an invitation to invest.
9. THE NEW LODE - Next Month's Issue