Total Pageviews

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Australian Gold

Gold is been found and mined in all the states of Australia including the Northern Territories. Although gold was originally discovered in New South Wales most of the gold produced today is found in the southwest corner of Western Australia. A long strip of gold bearing rocks is found along the coast in both New South Wales and Victoria that extends into Tasmania. The largest mining activity for gold in Australia is located in Western Australia. There are smaller gold producing areas that are almost like plums in a plum pudding scattered across the interior of Australia as can be seen on a resource map produced by the Geological Survey of Australia.

Front End Loader working in an Australian gold mine.

The largest gold nugget that was ever discovered was found in Australia in 1869. This was the Welcome Stranger nugget. This was the name given the largest alluvial gold nugget that was ever discovered on Earth. The nugget weighed in at 2,283 ounces, 6dwts and 9 grains. It was found to measure 61 cm (24 inches) by 31 cm (12.2 inches). It was discovered at Moliagul, Victoria by John Deason and Richard Oates on February 5, 1869 about 9 miles northwest of the town of Dunolly. They named this huge nugget the Welcome Stranger.

This wasn't the only large mass of gold discovered in Australia a somewhat smaller one was found by twenty-four miners working in a mine shaft in Ballarat during 1858. This was the largest gold nugget found at the time until the discovery of the Welcome Stranger in 1869. This earlier gold nugget was called the "Welcome Nugget."

An example of crystallized gold the Providence Nugget from Australia.

The official discovery of gold in the West really a start of a gold rush in 1851 when a prospector named Edward Hammond Hargraves claimed he had discovered payable gold near Bathurst, New South Wales at a place for Hargraves called Ophir. It was six months later that gold was discovered in Victoria. Even though gold had been discovered as early as 1841 by others including Rev. WB Clarke in 1841. Clarke reported his find to the then governor of New South Wales George Gipps. Gipps told Clark to put his discovery away advising Clark that “We shall both have our throats cut!” At the time Australia had a convict society and the last thing the authorities wanted was the discovery of gold. Later the governments of both New South Wales and Victoria rewarded Clarke for his contributions to the gold industry of Australia, however the financial rewards didn't compare to those that were awarded Hargraves.

No comments:

Post a Comment