Gold in Western Australia (Part 1)
What I Know and Where I've Been
As a small-scale gold miner for over 30 years now, my mining endeavors have all been carried out in here in the Western United States with past forays into Mexico as well. So when I write posts for "Bedrock Dreams" I tend to write about what I know and where I myself have been.
Granted, I've written a number of posts about gold mining in Canada's British Columbia (B.C.) though I myself have never had the opportunity to visit that beautiful province, let alone mine there. But I have a special affinity for and friendship with gold miners in B.C. and that's why I try and provide them with posts from time-to-time.
What Bothers Me Greatly
What bothers me greatly however, is the fact that I have quite a few readers from Australia and New Zealand and I believe I have written only one post for my Aussie mining (fossicking) friends and (sadly) none for my loyal Kiwi readers. So, I will eventually attempt to rectify this situation for miners in both nations.
Proven Gold-Producing Areas
I will start making amends by listing proven gold-producing areas in the Murchison and "Eastern" Goldfields of Western Australia. Here goes:
Coolgardie Area: Site of the first major gold discovery in Western Australia in 1892, Coolgardie became a gold boom area after an initial find of 5,000 troy ounces of free-milling gold in quartz at the Bayley's Reward Lease location. The Coolgardie area has long been noted for producing nuggets, both in terms of quantity and size. Good gold values have also been recovered at locations like Gibraltar, Bullabulling, Bonnie Vale, and Bayley's.
Kambalda Area: This region is part of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt that is famous for its gold producing geological characteristics. The immediate area around Kambalda contains both primary (vein or "reef") and secondary (placer) gold deposits that have proven quite rich in past days. Western Australia's largest nugget, the "Golden Eagle" (1,175 troy ounces!) was found in 1932 in an area near the community of Larkinville. Kambalda has long been noted as "big nugget" country.
Laverton Area: Laverton is also part of the famous Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt. Rich quartz reef (vein), sheared, and hydrothermal auriferous deposits have all been found at locations like Murrin Murrin, Ida H, Euro, Westralia, and Lancefield. Additionally, substantial placer gold finds have been made at Red Flag, Murrin Murrin, "The Patch," Laverton, and Erlistoun.
Norseman Area: This gold-producing area lies at the at the southern tip of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt. Although most of the gold here is found in sheared quartz reefs there are placer deposits at Norseman and nearby locales. However, placers in this region have not been noted as nugget producers.
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Broad Arrow Area: This area is noted for numerous and extensive reef and placer gold deposits. Locations at or near Black Flag, Broad Arrow, Lady Bountiful, and Ora Banda have been the best producers historically. Substantial quantities of small, medium, and even large (multi-troy ounce) gold nuggets have been recovered in the area.
That should hold things steady for now. I'll cover more Western Australia gold producing areas in a subsequent post.
Until then I'll just say "G'day mate!"
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Things Could Always be Worse: Gold Rush Prices"
(c) J.R. 2009
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