Here at Gold Net - we are always endeavouring to keep our readers well informed of developments. The Howe litigation in the United States against the Federal Reserve and other banking institutions is continuing at this time. We will continue to keep our readers well informed on this matter.
The gold price again seems to be trying to climb. It lifted and then returned. Is it being manipulated? - well that is the question that the Howe matter is addressing.
We must again advise that some members do not provide accurate Email addresses. We do appreciate you providing correct addresses - so that we can communicate with our members.
The exodus of Easterner's is once again on to the Golden West. Jim and Cheryl Foster have again gone west, along with a large number of others - who these days seem to me making the winter pilgrimage with more regularity and in greater numbers. Good luck to you all over there, in finding good gold. I wish I could join you. Perhaps next year - all going well.
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2. THE GUM SAN GOLD MUSEUM
by Jim Foster
The fIood of Chinese to the Australian Goldfields was a reflection on the events that occurred in China during the 1800's. Trade between China and England had been very beneficial to the Chinese early on. Silk and tea from China were very popular with the English and the demand was great. The Chinese limited the Europeans to one port, Canton and would only accept silver in exchange for goods. They refused to trade in English goods. These terns were not to England's advantage.
The British East India Company was making huge profits at this time by illegally importing opium into China. The Chinese government, seeing the effect that opium was having on its' people, decided to ban opium altogether. The resulting Opium War lasted four years (1838 - 1842) ending with the signing of the Treaty of Nanking. This left China in the unfortunate position of having to hand over to England huge reparation payments opening up other ports for trade and other special privileges.
The 1840's were not kind to China and droughts, floods and political unrest dominated. The expanding trade with the western world allowed greedy landlords and bandits to seize crops and goods from families. The country was so large that the government could not enforce its laws. In the 1850's, millions were killed during the Tai'ping Rebellion, an Internal religious uprising. All aspects of life were difficult for most levels of Chinese society.
The opening of trade allowed some Chinese to travel to other countries and it wasn't long before news of gold in California began to filter - back to Chinese villages. European traders who had started up a business of transporting Chinese peasants as cheap labour were advertising passages to Victoria. Word of the gold rush encouraged 3,000 Chinese to our shores in search of wealth. By the next year, this number had grown to 12,000.
Many Chinese did not have funds to buy their tickets but Chinese creditors were happy to finance them in exchange for the rewards of their first years takings. After paying his debt the diggers earnings went to his family and village back home in China.
Most of the Chinese that travelled to the Victorian gold fields were from the See Yup area of Southern China. The trip over was spent in appalling conditions with the immigrants often locked below in cramped and filthy conditions. The basic requirements of food and water were inadequate and many jumped overboard in a desperate plea to escape seasickness and dysentery. The quality of provisions, medical care and the humane treatment of passengers were conditions sought after by the British Passenger Act of 1855, but efforts for government enforcement of this regulation were corrupt and inadequate.
Confusion and expense met the ship's captain on arrival in Melbourne. The docks were congested with newly arrived boats that were unable to berth and many vessels lay abandoned by crew who had left to find their fortunes on the diggings.
By the next year many merchants had found a way of avoiding the tax by dropping of their passengers in South Australia and letting them find their own way to Victoria. Robe was the preferred landing spot as it was close to Victoria even though the loading and unloading of passengers was difficult in the deep water was due to a lack of proper docking facilities.
The Chinese then found the task of getting to the Victorian diggings in front of them. Often groups of up to six hundred Chinese would pay for a guide to accompany them on their journey. By the end of 1857 over 14,000 Chinese had used Robe as an entry point to the diggings and at some time authorities thought it would be more beneficial to drop the Victorian entry tax and encourage the Chinese to spend their money on employing Victorian guides. Sporadic attempts were made by the Victorian Police to collect the entrance tax from those who disembarked at Robe.
It was one of these groups of Chinese who were on their way to the goldfields of Bendigo and Clunes that stopped to camp and get water near the grazing area of Ararat. By accident, they discovered one of the richest alluvial gold sources in the world - the Canton Lead. The Chinese were able to keep it a secret for only a short time before thousands of Chinese and European diggers came to try their luck. The town of Ararat has subsequently grown from these beginnings, and the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre is a tribute to that rich heritage.
The Educational Tours & Programs
The standard tour admission price includes a self-guided exploration of the Centre with the assistance of our volunteer guides. Points of interest cards and a choice of interactive activities are available for group leaders to use as teaching aids.
For a more Comprehensive Tour and learning program, the Services of an education officer can be provided at a minimal additional cost.
Gum San Retail Shop The Gum San retail shop sells a variety of quality cultural and gold products, interesting souvenir items, publications on Chinese culture, gismos, gifts and treasures for every pocket depth. Products local to the Ararat region are also available.
How to Arrange a Visit
Bookings are essential for all group visits. The Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre is an enjoyable and easy to organise excursion of significant fun and educational value for visitors of all ages.
The Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre is open seven days a week from
A maximum of 50 visitors can attend the centre at any one time. Groups will be split into smaller organised groups, to ensure a quality experience is enjoyed.
For all group bookings, a $50-00 deposit fee is payable in advance with the balance payable on the day of your visit.
Please direct all information and booking inquiries to the:
3. PITFALLS AND MORE
by Brad Williams
The Australian outback can be a lonely and desolate place. Most of the locals in remote areas take it for granted and almost always take reasonable precautions when venturing off the beaten track. It's just something that we do unconsciously. Something that has been taught to us since we were very young and we do it as second nature.
Australia is a very large country by world standards. It is close to the size of the USA excluding Alaska, and consists largely of desert, particularly in the interior. The population is just 19 million people, the vast majority on the East Coast. In fact in the entire western half of the continent there are less than 2 million people in total - with just over one million being in Perth, the capital of Western Australia.
Consequently, when one goes into remote areas, precautions must be taken to ensure your survival. If you think that in this day and age deaths do not occur in Australia in such circumstances you are mistaken and almost every year foreign tourists, inexperienced in travelling across desert regions perish in the Australia outback.
Firstly read as much as you can about the areas you wish to visit. Most local governments now have web sites with e-mail addresses and you can glean information from their sites, which in general is informative. Prepare yourself well. Always seek advice from local authorities before proceeding across desolate areas. Prepare your vehicle well. In remote areas - hire or use a four-wheel drive vehicle. Some of these are fitted with two way radios - and or satellite phones. It will cost you more - but the extra cost is well worth the expense.
You can never take enough spare parts. A minimum of 2 spare tyres should always be carried - and preferably up to 4. Spare tubes - tyre changing gear and a capacity to pump up your tyres - with a variety of devices should also be carried. Do not rely entirely on devices that require battery or engine power exclusively. Carrying a compressor that runs off battery power is useless if your battery is flat - or using a lifting device that relies on the exhaust to utilise - is useless if you cannot start your motor. By all means take them - but also carry manual devices - just in case.
Having a winch fixed to your vehicle is another valuable tool that can assist you to get through deep loose sand and boggy areas. In many regions in Australia the vegetation is sparse and having readily available trees to hook up to in many locations is a rarity. In such circumstances always carry some steel posts - like star droppers (pickets) and an axe or a sledge hammer to ensure you can penetrate the ground deeply enough so your winch can take a good hold. Carry plenty of ropes and of course towropes of all sizes - and capable of being joined together effectively.
Tools of all types are always required. In particular at least two devices that fit your wheel nuts - perhaps a wheel brace - backed up by an all purpose socket set. I personally always take a variety of steel rods that fit neatly inside some lengths of galvanised pipe to ensure I can get extra leverage if required. I can relate on one occasion when I was stuck in mud flats with the right hand side of my vehicle bogged to the axles on the right side only. I was able to lift the vehicle out by leverage, using a series of pipes inside pipes, giving me enormous lifting power at the fulcrum. It was back breaking work but it got me out of a very sticky situation. In fact I should also mention take some sort of material to use as a point for your fulcrum. For example, a block of hard wood.
Other materials that are useful are fencing wire, twine, rubber bands, matches, magnifying glass, tweezers, pliers, hacksaws, wood saws, axes, spades, picks, in fact just about any tool that you can think of can be utilised in some way. Writing paper and pens are also useful. One must use initiative when stranded.
It is always recommended that you take good topographical maps and at all times navigate either using a GPS or a compass and protractor to ensure that you at least know where you are. How often do you see people right out in the bush with no navigational aids at all, except the knowledge that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I must say that I am often criticised for paying attention to my global position. But one day I just might need to have that information if my transport becomes disabled.
The most important thing you should take is water. Without water you will die very quickly. With water - you can remain alive for many weeks, even without food. Dehydration can kill you within hours. Last year there was a case of a European tourist dying in the outback of dehydration - while carrying water. She did not realise how much fluid she was losing in the heat of the day and simply did not drink. It cost her her life.
If you do become stranded in the bush - you should always remain with your vehicle. It should be recognised that searching from the air - a vehicle is much easier to spot than a human being. Remain with your vehicle as long as you can. However, if you consider all the facts and decide to leave your vehicle - write a detailed note leaving specific directions as to your intentions.
It is always wise not to travel in the heat of the day. Walking across desert is draining and losing fluids can very quickly can be fatal. Walk in the early morning and in the evening, away from the heat of the midday sun. If a full moon, travel at night. You are best to keep your body lightly covered by - e.g. keep your shirt on. Above all always wear a wide brimmed hat. It will reduce the rate at which your body loses fluid. Always carry good quantities of water with you. At least 2 litres per day - minimum.
It is most important that you liaise with local authorities. Tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive. The more people that know where you are going, the better, and just as importantly when you expect to arrive. In that way the alarm is sure to be raised by someone if you do not keep a rendezvous.
In summary, the best advice I can give you - is be prepared. If you are going into deep sand country take the things that will help you extract yourself as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Plan well for all your trips. Accept local advice - and use it to your advantage. Stay alive out there.
4. TOLMER AND THE GOLD ESCORTS
by Craig Wilson
Alexander Tolmer was born in London in 1815. He was of German - French descent.
After this campaign he returned to his family where he was welcomed - however his father returned him to school. Somewhat a let down from his adventures as a Lancer. He involved himself in a clandestine relationship with Mary Coulter - and when her father discovered this - the two eloped.
For family reasons he was encouraged to emigrate to South Australia - the free colony of the great south land. Procuring a letter of introduction from his regimental colonel, Colonel Brotherton to the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Colonel Gawler. Both of these gentlemen had served together at Waterloo. Tolmer's introduction to Gawler was to lead him on many adventures.
Tolmer, accompanied by his wife and her sister, left Gravesend, England on 4th September 1839 in the barque Brakenmore. En route, Tolmer got into a fight with some Portuguese while in port - and again had an altercation with the ships mate. His reputation as a brawler was becoming entrenched.
Arriving in South Australia he presented his letter to Colonel Gawler, where he was received kindly. Almost immediately he was offered a commission as a sub-inspector of police. However this occurred the wrath of Superintendent Inman, who was at that time in charge of the fledgling force. Inman had, already noted Tolmer's brashness. On 19th February 1940, at the age of just 25, the promotion took effect.
A few months later Major Thomas Shouldham O'Halloran was appointed Commissioner of Police.
As the fledgling State progressed many appointments were made quickly and without proper selection procedures. If you had been a military man it would guarantee you a fine post in this new land.
By 1850 the colony of South Australia was in difficulty. Unemployment had risen to over 7,000. Crime was rife as result, and the governor was desperate to resolve the impending disaster.
After a short time a trickle of gold began to come back into South Australia. Families were relying on their men to provide them with an income and the gold was to provide that. An assay office was quickly set up in King William Street, and business was brisk from the day the office opened. However with this new found wealth and with the men sending their gold home to their families came the inevitable escapee and the odd bushranger.
By 1852 the new Governor was Sir Henry Young. With the colony almost bankrupt, he was obliged to make many cuts to Government spending.
Fortunately the Governor agreed, and instructed the Surveyor General, Captain Freeling to prepare a party to find a quicker route to the Mount Alexander Gold Fields. He quickly organised the appropriate troopers and within a few days he was on his way to Wellington with his entourage.
It was extremely hot and the going was tough. The party carried some water with them, and were relying on finding supplies of water as they progressed. Progress in the initial days was as slow as 16 miles or as fast as 32 miles. The terrain was flat - but the sand deep and it was hard going at times. Amazingly, the area was well settled and a number of sheep runs had been established right into the Tatiara, known by the local aborigines as "The Good Country".
It had rained overnight for the entire night on the second night out and that consequently guaranteed a good supply of water lay ahead of them. Each night as they progressed that camped where there was plentiful grass and water for the horses.
They reached the "Border Town" late in the afternoon of the 4th day. This was a staging area for bullock drays and teamsters. Water and grass was plentiful here. Next morning they headed off towards the Little Desert and crossed that without incident, crossing the Wimmera River without incident, arriving at the small hamlet of Horsham. This was a small village with no more than 18 mean dwellings, and was again a staging station for teamsters and drovers.
On to the Pyrenees, where they were able to cross through a gap at Moonambel, and forded the Avoca River just north of the present town of Avoca. Near Bet Bet they crossed the Bullock Track that had been cut by Major Mitchell on his way north, in 1836. To the east Mount Alexander towered before them. It stood out clearly and the party camped on the banks of the Loddon River that evening, just a few miles from their destination.
Next morning, they rode together into Campbell's Creek and Forest Creek.
5. WHEAT FROM CHAFF - MINELABS NEW GP
by Brad Williams
It would be reasonable to say that since Minelab released their GP Metal Detector there has been some controversy. There are those that believe that the GP is the "ants pants" and would not go back to the SD2200 or SD2100 etc. while others have gone back. But there also seems to be a group that is utilising both machines successfully, and this is primarily the fraternity that prospect professionally.
What clearly comes through from all one talks to that have now used the GP extensively, is that the GP is extremely stable and is an excellent machine for finding smaller gold. There is some difficulty in ascertaining the real truth regarding the depth of larger nuggets. Some are saying the GP is much better while others are saying the opposite - that in fact it does not reach the same depth as the SD2200 on larger nuggets.
So to be fair - an assortment of comments is included from many who are recognised as leaders within the gold detecting fraternity.
Kaz Roff - Western Australia
I found the GP extreme to be much quieter compared to the SD 2200D and the signal response to be exceptional. The GP is unmistakably more sensitive to small nuggets at greater depths in highly mineralised ground than the SD 2200D.
Cliff Watters - Victoria
The GP extreme has proven itself to me beyond doubt. It finds nuggets in heavily flogged areas. One trip to the golden triangle produced 20 nuggets and the next trip 23, the biggest being 17.6 grams. Most of the targets were at very impressive depths and from areas that I had previously gridded with every Minelab machine since the GT16000 days, the last occasion with a SD2200D with 18" coil and I found nothing.
John Gladdis - South Australia
I use the GP extreme. I find it has the nicest signal response of all the Minelab machines. I find that I am getting good gold targets on ground I had previously worked with my SD. My experience and instinct tells me the GP extreme is an excellent machine.
I know all of these gentlemen to be extremely experienced in prospecting with a lot of different machines. I value their comments.
Alternately on the negative side - some of the comments that have been made include:
"Came across a bloke last week who had just finished 3days chaining a new patch - for 3ozs in small pieces with his GP. As he was going home he said to me, I was welcome to have a go on his patch. So I fired up my 2200 with 24"dd. Results for 2 days -13 nuggets for 25.2ozs. To all the other GP'ers who have left me 50ozs. over the last 2 months. While you are hunting for the small stuff I am really cleaning up."
The word in the west on the GP is similar as Victoria. I myself have had a few hiccups, but now getting a lot more gold, deeper & smaller at depth with large coils [24", 19",14"dd on new and old ground. But don`t be fooled, it`s not a lazy man`s [prospectors] dream machine. As most people I meet have had little success or experience with detectors before the SD range, so they expect the gold to jump out of the ground - I wish. Thus blaming the detector.
What comes to the fore in all these comments - is that the informed seems to indicate that in fact the GP is a better machine and in the right hands with experience will out perform the 2200 in most if not all facets. Perhaps not in every auriferous place, but in most.
Having read most of the comments that are detrimental - it appears that many are being made on the spur of the moment, and most are being made by the inexperienced. This is not entirely the case as some experienced prospectors have made some detrimental comments, most of it relatively mild and not scathing.
We should also recognise that Minelab leads the world with metal detecting technology. As Australians we should be proud of their achievements, in particular with the giant leaps forward with the 2000, 2100 and 2200 metal detectors that ten years later still lead the world. Perhaps the giant technological leaps that were made with these machines may have reached the cutting edge and the advances now capable of being made within man's knowledge are no longer being made in leaps and bounds.
Perhaps one of the most telling comments that I heard was this:
After hearing all the bad reports about the GP, I got a loan of a GP to try for 10 days. I was very surprised at how many un-dug gold nuggets the 2200 would not find, and the GP was giving a good response to. Even when I got a response with the 2200 it was not as clear as the GP. The nuggets were 0.2g up to 11.8g. I also tried burying a 0.5g , a 5g and 26g nugget as deep as the 2200 would find them in all types of ground and using different sized coils 11" to 19" , DD and Mono. The GP won every time. Sometimes only just. I am convinced that if you don't use the right coil and have the right settings for the ground you are working you will not get the best from the GP. The GP is not as forgiving as the 2200 if you don't have it set up right.
My personal view is that the GP is indeed a good metal detector. It's right at the leading edge of technology and compared with other company's products is way ahead in the technology stakes. Achievers are often criticised in this country and often unfairly. I don't believe this criticism is warranted against Minelab, as their contribution to this industry has been exceptional - and their support through sponsorships - exceptional. What other company in this industry has achieved so much or supported the prospecting fraternity so well?
6. WORLD GOLD COUNCIL - COMMENTS
by Brad Williams
Each month the World Gold Council attempts to explain movements in published data on gold reserve statistics. The table is based primarily on data published by the International Monetary Fund in International Financial Statistics but is at times supplemented by additional or more timely information that is available. It is clear that with gold sales as previously arranged by both the UK & Swiss governments have had an impact this quarter.
Switzerland and the UK have pre-announced programmes to sell part of their gold holdings. The Swiss National Bank and Bank of England are among the 15 European central banks that signed the Washington Agreement on Gold limiting their collective sales to 400 tonnes a year over the five years from September 1999.
Greece adopted as its currency the euro from Jan 1 2001. As part of the process it transferred foreign exchange reserves to the European Central Bank, funded 15% in gold. Its remaining gold reserves are now part of the total reserves of the Eurosystem. The discrepancy between the increase in the ECB's reserves (19.5 tonnes) and the decrease in Greek reserves (8 tonnes) is due to the Greek figures now including around 10 tonnes of swapped gold that was previously excluded.
There are a number of reasons why the reported levels of a country's gold reserves can change. Some of the more common are as follows:
Borrowing and loans
South Africa announced in June 2000 that it had arranged to borrow US$500m worth of gold to boost its reserves. When this loan was drawn down (mainly between July and August) the gold was added to South Africa's reserves. On repayment it will be deducted.
Central banks of some gold producing countries act as marketing channels for newly mined gold. Some will include such gold in their formal reserves. In that case reserves will fluctuate as gold is acquired and, later, sold. A number of central banks in these countries have a policy of gradually increasing their gold reserves.
Some changes are due to accounting and other adjustments. Periodic fluctuations in the amount of gold held by the USA, for example, are due to arrangements for purchasing and then supplying gold to the US mint for the manufacture of bullion coins. (Gold from the reserve is normally used for commemorative coins.)
Central banks who lend gold to the market sometimes receive the interest due in gold. In general such increases are too small to be separately identified in this table which attempts to allocate only changes of one tonne or more.
|7. FLECKS ! - Glints from here and there|
GOLD: FACTS AND FIGURES
Courtesy - World Gold Council
Since the beginning of time, gold has maintained a significant status to all civilisations
Alchemists symbol for gold is the same as that used for the sun - a simple circle
Gold is extremely rare - all the gold that has ever been mined would fit underneath the Eiffel Tower and would be only be 19m cubed
Gold is extremely heavy - one cubic foot weighs half a ton
Gold for Medicinal Purposes
Gold can be found in very small proportions in the body
Gold as Our Heritage
The permanence of gold has made it synonymous with heritage, passed down from generation to generation
Key Dates Connected with Gold
4000 BC first used in Central and Eastern Europe
9. THE NEW LODE - Next Month's Issue