We pleased to announce that in the next month or two - we will have an Open Chat Line that will be open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
This will enable you to chat amongst yourselves and to talk with prospectors from all over the globe. The chat site has been commissioned and is presently under construction. It is unlikely that we will be able to commence this free service to members before the Expo. As soon as the Exposition is completed we will initiate the chat room.
On the subject of the Expo - plans are moving forward effectively, and we can expect an improved expo this year. We are aggressively seeking participants and we will have an increase in exhibitors.
Just 10 days before the release of this months magazine a 32 ounce nugget was dug from virgin ground just north of Inglewood, in Victoria. It just goes to show that there is gold still out there.
We continue to seek overseas markets for the gold that comes from the vast gold fields here. I can report that we are developing some outstanding contacts at this time - and we believe that these will in time prove to be excellent outlets for gold nuggets.
The PMAV have announced that a Rally will be held at Bendigo on Saturday Saturday 23rd March 2002 at 11am to protest about the closure of Public Forests.
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2. DEALING WITH CREEPY CRAWLIES IN OZ
by Brad Williams
We are often asked about the dangers in the Australian Gold Fields. In particular the creepy crawlies that may pose a threat in the environment, while visitors are in the gold fields. So in this article we will look at the possible dangers that may confront you, while you search for the yellow stuff.
Perhaps the greatest threat in the gold fields of Victoria would come from snakes. Australia has more than its share of venomous snakes, and although they generally keep out of your way - on some occasions you may be confronted by a snake. The snake you are most likely to come across is the common brown snake. Its habitat is widespread across most of Australia - and it is quite prolific in the gold field areas of both Victoria and Western Australia. Although highly venomous, in general it will avoid a confrontation and if possible - it will slide away as quickly as possible.
Secondly the Tiger snake may be encountered. This snake is called a Tiger snake for good reason, because of its aggressive nature. Where the common brown will disappear quickly - the Tiger may confront you by facing you and raising its head about 12" to 18" off the ground - and possibly attempt to strike you.
There are other snakes you may come across including the Red Bellied Black snake, (Eastern and south Eastern Coast) the Death Adder, (Not usually found in Victoria) The Copper Head, (NSW & Vic) and The King Brown (not usually found in the South East of Australia).
It is interest to understand the toxicity levels in snakes. It is widely believed that Australia has the most venomous snakes in the world. This is essentially true, if one understands the toxicity test that is applied. Toxic tests applied to snakes relate to venom taken to kill mice - not humans. The scale relate to a standard figure of 1 for an Indian Cobra. The Australian Inland Taipan - has a rating of 50. The Common Brown snake has a rating of 12.5. A Tiger snake 4.2. Because of the proliferation of Common Brown snakes across Australia - it is no wonder that although not aggressive it is responsible for about 22 of the 37 deaths attributed to snake bite in Australia.
In Australia each year about 3,000 snake bites are reported, with somewhere between 200 to 500 receiving anti venom. Only one or two of these bites will prove fatal, and some of these fatalities may not even recognise that they have been bitten by a snake. Because of the relatively high number of snake bites - all hospitals are well stocked with anti venom, which is regularly updated. Australian hospitals are world class in every respect.
While in the bush one should always wear proper clothing. That is good quality trousers - e.g. denim, with quality closed footwear and thick socks. They provide the best protection available for you - and often can absorb the venom if a snake does strike.
Now I don't for one minute want you to think that the Australian bush is so full of snakes that you will be over run. In fact in all the years that I have been visiting Victoria I have yet to come across a snake in the bush. I have come across several in the Watts Gully area of South Australia, but never in Victoria. But they are there - so just keep a reasonable lookout and you will be fine.
Treatment for snake bite is simple and very effective.
Spiders in the southern regions are prolific - and most are totally harmless.
Deaths can and do still occur from these spiders - but again the first aid is identical to that used for snake bite. Conveyance to a medical facility should be immediate as some respiratory difficulty may be encountered.
The other spider that can give you a nasty bite is the Red Back Spider.
The White tail spider is a small spider with a small but distinctive white marking at the back of the body. The bite is minimal but the after effects can be severe. This spider has been infrequently implicated in the development of the so-called necrotising arachnidism syndrome, in which a near-painless bite progresses to painful cutaneous blistering and inflammation which may progress into intensely cyanotic lesions, occasionally resulting in substantial recurrent local tissue necrosis with a deep rolled ulcer involving fat and skin and exposing muscle. Amputation has been required for severe necrosis, and ulcer recurrence may last for years.
In the northern tropical regions of Australia exists the most dangerous creature you may encounter. There are some excellent gold fields "Across The Top", so great care must be made to avoid waterways where crocodiles may lurk. They are protected and are prolific in some areas. I don't think I need say much more about these reptiles. They are very dangerous, and should be avoided at all times.
Now that this has been said, I don't want you to think that this place is crawling with creatures that will devour you while you are in Australia.
You have a much greater chance of being knocked over by a motor vehicle than encountering a problem in the Australian bush.
Usually if you are with someone with local knowledge you are as safe out there as you would be in your own home.
3. UPDATE - THE HOWE LAWSIUT
by Laurelle Murphy
The Howe lawsuit action against the US Central Reserve and several major world banks - is hotting up. We reproduce without alteration the statement released by the Committee set up to support this action.
MANCHESTER, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 2001--The following statement was released today by Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer, Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.:
"The case of Howe vs. Bank for International Settlements et al. -- I like to call it Howe vs. All the Money in the World -- was roughed up a little today but survived its first day of hearing in federal court in Boston."
"During 2 1/2 hours of oral argument, U.S. District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay dismissed two counts of the lawsuit involving securities fraud charges against defendant J.P. Morgan/Chase, and ruled that the plaintiff's method of serving lawsuit notice papers against the BIS -- by mail in English instead of by personal service in German -- was insufficient."
"But the two dismissed securities fraud counts were secondary to the lawsuit's substance, and the problem with the lawsuit notice probably can be fixed by a pricey translator if the lawsuit is allowed to proceed."
"The judge took the remainder of the case back to his chambers for drafting a written decision on the plaintiffs' motions to dismiss the rest of the lawsuit. That could take weeks or months."
"The case was called at 2:30 p.m. in a beautiful and huge courtroom in the opulent new U.S. courthouse just across Fort Point Channel from gleaming downtown Boston. About 30 people sat in the audience section at the back of the courtroom, some of them GATA supporters, including a few who had come quite a long way to watch."
"Plaintiff Howe sat alone at the counsel's table on the audience's left. At the counsel's table on the right sat his opponents, nine lawyers representing the BIS, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan/Chase, Citigroup, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Behind them in the gallery were still a few more defendants' lawyers. The defendants' lawyers seemed to be smirking over their having had to come all this way just to confront a mere pro-se litigant, but they seemed to be smirking less when it was over."
"About two-thirds of the hearing consisted of Judge Lindsay's questioning Howe about the case and its likely weaknesses. The judge was exceptionally well-informed about both the legal technicalities and the broader issues behind them. While he sought to move the hearing along, he also was pretty indulgent in letting Howe explain things."
"The hearing wasn't really about whether the gold market is manipulated. It was about whether there is any basis in law for the suit. Thus it turns on legal issues and technicalities that will interest few of the partisans of gold and free markets -- issues like the very limited circumstances under which the government and government officials may be sued for official acts. But a few observations from this partisan may be of interest:"
"The judge had trouble seeing in the lawsuit's claims possible evidence that the bullion banks had conspired with each other rather than with the federal government, other than what was called "parallel conduct" -- their doing the same things in the market at the same times. I thought Howe answered this well by noting that the bullion bank defendants had issued the overwhelming majority of gold and interest rate derivatives and essentially were themselves the markets for those instruments."
" The judge seemed almost obtuse in not understanding Howe's claim that there was fraud in the BIS' forcibly redeeming the shares of its private shareholders at less than fair value when there had never been any indication to the private shareholders that their shares could be taken this way."
"One of the lawyers for the government asserted the government's right, under the laws establishing the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Treasury Department's Exchange Stabilization Fund, to trade in gold in a way affecting gold's price. That is, he almost seemed to be claiming, on behalf of the government, the right to do exactly what the lawsuit complains of, without actually admitting that this was happening. (Whether he is right is exactly the legal issue the suit seeks to settle.) Howe was excellent in rebutting this claim. He argued that prior to 1974 Congress had fixed the gold price, but since then has left gold's price to the market. Thus, Howe said, any government trading in gold cannot constitutionally aim to fix the price, and certainly not surreptitiously. (I thought Howe got by far the better of this exchange, at least establishing a point worth litigating. Unfortunately I was sitting on the wrong side of the courtroom. We'll just have to wait to find out what the judge thinks.) "
"Howe was just as effective in describing the unfairness of the BIS' liquidating its private shareholders without recourse and without arbitration. While the judge at first had wanted to skip argument on the arbitration issue, considering it examined adequately in the legal briefs, Howe managed to get his approval to make one point and then another and another, and the effect was very strong politically -- it gave the impression of ordinary small investors getting screwed by arrogant and powerful people. This happened to be the last issue discussed, so Howe finished strong, the other side weak."
"When it was over, the courtroom cleared out quickly, and Howe was left alone at the counsel table packing his books and papers into his briefcases. Forgive the editorializing, but I couldn't help but think of the scene at the end of the trial in that wonderful movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird," when Gregory Peck, playing the quietly heroic defense lawyer, Atticus Finch, does the same thing, seemingly alone -- and yet he is not alone, but rather watched by the oppressed people in the gallery with awe, admiration, and respect for standing up against the most hateful and vicious power. What I saw today was really not so different."
"I won't guess what will happen with this case; anything can. Maybe the essence of what has happened today is that we could have lost the whole case but didn't. (I spent some time later with Howe and his business associate, Bob Landis, and, analyzing the day clinically, almost as a sport, they seemed ready to be hopeful.) "
"We still may lose the case on the technicalities in a few weeks and should be prepared for that."
"But two things:"
"Enough of the cursed cynicism that the courts are as rigged as the markets, that there is no fighting the power. We know some things about market rigging but there is no evidence that anything in court today was rigged. We got a day in court if not quite yet OUR day in court. And for all its faults this remains a country where one brave man pleading his own case can summon the representatives of all the money in the world and put the bastards in danger of having to answer for themselves."
"The lawsuit is an important front in our struggle for free markets and honest dealing but it is not the only front, and, win or lose here, our strategy and plan will be, in Churchill's words, KBO: Keep buggering on. Thanks to GATA Chairman Bill Murphy and Howe and those who have come to their assistance, we have discovered that the scheme against gold is only part of a bigger scheme involving interest rates and currencies to deprive the financial markets of any standards of value and to expropriate the world for the benefit of certain Wall Street interests and to make the world the slave of the U.S. dollar."
" This deeply shames Americans who understand it. That is why they will continue to oppose it as best they can regardless of what happens in court. It is an anti-imperialist cause and thus a great cause. And, as Churchill said, 'When great causes are on the move in the world, we find that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
4. SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES - PT 1
by Brad Williams
Survival Techniques will differ markedly within a particular environment.
One would obviously assume that in extreme cold the techniques adopted to survive would be very different to those adopted in a hot climate.
I recall many years ago as a young military officer having survival technique instruction along with periods of time spent in the bush - surviving. I soon learnt that hunger can sharpen ones wits dramatically. At the same time, if stressed enough, the mind can play strange tricks, and recognising and controlling these extremes when in difficulty in the bush is indeed a skill well worth learning.
In most of auriferous Australia, the climate is temperate to hot.
Extreme cold, such as that experienced in Europe and North America, is not experienced in general in Australia.
The vast gold fields in Western Australia perhaps deserve the most consideration when traversing the vast desert regions. It is an area where careful consideration must be given before venturing into the vastness of the outback gold fields.
Of prime importance is water. Always carry much more than you realistically need. The importance of this cannot be emphasised enough. Water in the Australian outback is indeed a precious commodity, and one that should be conserved at all costs. Rivers, creeks and waterways simply do not exist. So finding water in the bush is almost impossible, unless you stumble across stock water that a station owner has installed, and these are few and far between.
These days the best way to ensure survival if stranded in the bush is with modern communications. Either a HF Radio system - of better still a satellite phone is a vital accessory these days. Note that cell phones in remote areas of Australia do not work. Additionally a Global Positioning System device to ensure your geographical location is required.
Here is a wish list of things that I would take with me to ensure survival in remote areas. Note that this is by no means comprehensive - but is indicative of what you should consider taking with you.
SURVIVAL PACK - VEHICLE
If you are stranded in remote areas - and you are unable to contact authorities to initiate a rescue - there are several considerations to be made. If you are with a vehicle - and you expect a rescue attempt from the air - remain with your vehicle. A large brightly coloured vehicle is much easier to spot from the air - rather than single human.
If circumstances dictate that you MUST leave your vehicle - always leave a comprehensive note of your intentions. Give full details - including dates and times etc. of departure and why you came to the decision you did.
The more information you can leave the better.
In this day and age in the major Victorian gold fields civilisation is very close by, and it is unlikely that you will require rescuing in such a heavily populated area. However, it is wise to always be aware of your location - no matter where you are.
Perhaps in future articles - we can look at more in depth survival techniques. It should always be remembered that every year in Australia people DO die in the outback after being stranded when their vehicles break down and most are totally unprepared. The local repair man doesn't exist out there. He might be 3 days away or more.
5. NEW PRODUCTS
by Sue "Goldie" Reynolds
From time to time we look at new products. We were hoping to be able to look at the new Garrett detector. Unfortunately this new product that we keep hearing about, seems to be taking a back seat to Garrett's main stream business - which is of course Security equipment. Sep 11th 2001 certainly has affected the world and it will never be the same.
Garrett have released two new coils for their metal detectors.
Both of these coils will be made of the same material, and are 14" x 10" DD coils for the GTI and GTax series detectors.
Coiltek have also released some new and exciting coils - suitable for Minelabs SD Range of detectors. The MINI UFO is CoilTek's latest venture with the open-web coils. Demand has been high for a smaller UFO coil and Coiltek have responded to the market.
Weighing in at around 800 grams with the clear skid plate fitted, it will be one of the best coils for swinging all day. Its size will allow the prospector to get in and around the tighter scrub lands and terrain. Being a monoloop it is more sensitive than a DD, and is suited to everything but extreme mineralisation. Like its big brother the UFO, being an elliptical coil, it has a good combination of depth and sensitivity.
It has the 'One Ear' design, similar to the UFO which has proven to be successful in getting the shaft to hold tight to the coil. It is still new to us as it is to you and we look forward to getting these out into the field to see what gold they can find. We believe it will be a winner!
Coiltek's success with the 10" monoloop has been followed up with a logical move to a 10" double D. The small monoloop is an extremely efficient gold finder, but in heavy mineralised ground it was very noisy. With the addition of the 10" DD, this small coil is an outstanding coil to use in mineralised ground.
Outstanding on small gold, it works extremely well on all SD's and the GP Extreme. To enquire further about this coil, ask your local dealer or contact Coiltek who will be glad to give you further advice on this outstanding coil.
6. A GREAT DAY AT WEDDERBURN
by Walter Forsythe
"Strewth mate - What are you doing?" I had arrived to collect Wack at his home to find him walking around his front yard with two pieces of wire in this hands pointing out in front of him. "Divining mate." "For What?" I retorted.
We sat down on the verandah and talked for a while. Wack told me that he had been told by an old bloke that you could actually divine for gold. So he had been practising for a few days and intended to give it a go on our monthly detecting trip. Now it would be fair to say that I was somewhat sceptical, at this revelation. But Wack was convinced. This old mate of his had been an old prospector for years and had done well.
Eventually I said, "Well mate - if you're so convinced, we had better give it a go." I grinned slightly as I stood up, but Wack was his usual buoyant self as we put his gear into the ute. My old mate kept hold of his two pieces of wire and as we headed for Wedderburn. They were pointing in front of him almost all the way, as he practiced. I raised my eyes brows on a couple of occasions; at his wild statements of the stories he had been told. Are you that gullible? I thought. My scepticism had not waned when we got to Wedderburn.
"Where do you reckon we should go mate?" I said. "How about Beggery Hills
mate" he said. The grin on his face was broad as he knew I would react to that in a negative manner. "But that's a flogged out area old son", I retorted.
I decked up with my 2200D and trudged off into the deep bush leaving Wack to his two pieces of wire. Now I was very sceptical as I left him to his dousing on his own. By leaving him - he understood that I wasn't impressed.
I watched for a while then concentrated on the task ahead. This area is very noisy, so I had the 14" Coiltek double D, which performs well for me in heavily mineralised ground. I got plenty of targets and among them more than my share of hot rocks. This is a notorious area for hot rocks, but then some very good gold has come out of this ground too. I knuckled down to the task and concentrated on finding some gold. I got a few pieces over the next hour and then headed back towards where I last saw my mate.
When I caught a glimpse of him, he was still walking around with these two pieces of wire. Now this was at least an hour that he had been wandering around aimlessly - or so I thought. I headed over to him, and quietly enquired as to just how much gold he had found by 'divining'.
I went back to my serious detecting, and in the next hour or two picked up a couple of pieces. Nothing big - but a 2 and 3 grammer is still gold. I had not seen Wack for a while, but the next time I did see him - he was decked out with his gear on and detecting away. I thought that he just might have given up what I thought was a foolhardy idea in any case. I kept detecting as planned for another hour and then at about 4.30 headed back to the vehicle.
I have been back at the ute for about 15 minutes and enjoying the rest, when Wack came back to the vehicle. He always grinned, but today the grin was huge. Take a gander at this mate, and he pulled from his pocket a 40 grammer, and handed it to me. It was a beautiful nugget. I had to ask, "Well mate, how did you come by that?" I should have expected the answer. "I divined for it mate," the grin turned into a raucous laugh. "But how?" I asked.
Was there something in this divining thing - or was it just luck? I wondered silently all the way back to Bendigo, and Wack just continued to grin and the two wires had been replaced by the nugget, which he kept holding up and admiring. We had a beer while his wife and kids admired his new find, and then I quietly slipped out and headed home. All the way there, I couldn't help but wonder though. Was it just luck, or was there something in this divining thing.
No, it must have been just luck that he found that nugget. I convinced myself that was the situation. I pondered about this for a few days. I must admit it was getting to me. I resisted phoning Wack as I wasn't going to let him know it was bugging me. But divining is a wives tale, I kept telling myself.
Now what words would I put into the Internet search engine. Divining, dousing, something like that!
7. FLECKS ! - Glints from here and there
PETITION BY PMAV & BUG
Attached is a petition that has been prepared by PMAV and the Bush Users Group (BUG) regarding box ironbark.
There will be a rally on Saturday 23rd March at 11am against the proposals for new parks.
Details will be promulgated as soon as possible.
Phone Rita Bentley if you have any questions on (03) 9572 1578.
Note that only residents of Victoria can sign the petition to the Victorian Government - please be careful those of you who operate interstate.
9. THE NEW LODE - Next Month's Issue