Old days mining terms

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Old days mining terms

Post  GoldnQuartz on Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:38 pm

G'day all,

Been a while but I'm still around! Not much detecting though unfortunately. I've been reading a lot on the days of the initial rushes that hit Australia over the period of about 50 years.

The question is, does anyone know what a load is - can quantify this?

Obviously the main sources were alluvial, and so many reports of the day talk about 1 ounce per load, or one pennyweight per load of washdirt. Some real good 'stuff' (another term used for the wash dirt at various times) going 1lb to the load. Further reports of 1500 oz from 1500 loads.

Question is, I can't find mention of what the definition of a 'load' actually is. I presume its going to something like a washtub full of dirt, which is going to be something you can wash a pan in, so probably about the size of a barrel cut in half. Alternatively, a 'wheelbarrow load', so we are probably talking roughly what a person can reasonably be expected to move by oneself, in one 'load'. So for that, I'd say its probably something the sixe of a brickies barrow, or about 50-60kg, or in the old days 100-120lb of dirt.

Anyway way you look at it, man, those old boys got some very rich dirt!!

Cheers,
GnQ

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  mulgadansa on Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:33 am

Gday GnQ
Probably have a couple of terms mixed here I reckon.
Lode refers to the rich gold ore body, hence 1oz to the ton (in those days) of the lode.
Rate of return per load of wash dirt /alluvial could be almost any amount I think, depending on what the prospector was using. A dray cart full, a wheelbarrow full, a cradle full, who knows?
Cheers
Brett
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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Minermike on Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:33 am

Not sure but I think a load was  1 cwt.  which is 112 lbs .   Then you have 20 loads to the ton.  It was a rough way of trying  to  work out  if the ground  was worth working .

They could wash a few loads of dirt  and then work out the return  per ton. Wash dirt with black sands in is heavy. So a wheelbarrow full would be 112 lbs. Some times they picked the eyes out of it , if they had to take it some distance to wash , hence a high return .


Last edited by Minermike on Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:45 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : more info .)
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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  adrian ss on Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:49 pm

a lode is a deposit of metalliferous ore that fills or is embedded in a fissure or reef. Smile
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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  GoldnQuartz on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:38 pm

Thanks for the comments, I reckon you have it Miner Mike, a hundred weight would be a best approximation, Makes sense what you say about 20 loads to the ton.

As for Lode as opposed to Load, yes lode is definitely a term for a mineralised zone, usually that part of a vein system that is economic (payable) to mine. Its also an older term as well, harking back to the days of hand mining underground. These days in geology and mining it doesn't tend to be used as much as in the past, and mineralised zone or ore zone is more common nowadays.

So, some of these old alluvial miners were sure on some rich ground, with some areas regularly producing 3 oz per load, so that is 60 oz/ton! Not bad.

Cheers GnQ

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  adrian ss on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:10 am

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  boobook on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:15 am

From old timers left alive that I have spoken "pennyweight ground" was that which yielded 1 pennyweight (1/20th oz.) per cubic yard.
Also "load" often referred to a horse drawn dray, possibly around 3 cubic yards.
I have an old Geo. report (1920) of the Lucknow, NSW gold field which when discovered was giving up to 20oz. gold to the pan, approx. 20lbs. of dirt.
Extremely rich, but the surface workings were soon depleted.

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  adrian ss on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:11 am

I cannot even picture getting a dish load with 20 oz in it. With so much gold laying in the ground and rivers when we first arrived here it makes you wonder why it was not found until the mid 1800s or approx 50 years after first arrival.
On the other hand there was only approx 300,000 people here by then, so I guess they were spread fairly thin and they were mainly on and around the coastline.
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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  boobook on Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:17 am

From that same report :
The Shamrock 112 oz./ton, Golden Gate 1500 oz. from 7 tons, Industry Reward 2700 oz. from 20 1/4 tons, Sawyers claim 200 oz. from 4 bushels of dirt.
An interesting field, right beside the Orange/Bathurst road approx. 5km. East of Orange. Water from ancient basalt covered river systems beat them eventually.
In actual gold/ton the gold field probably beat Hill End.

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Nightjar on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:14 pm

adrian ss wrote:I cannot even picture getting a dish load with 20 oz in it. With so much gold laying in the ground and rivers when we first arrived here it makes you wonder why it was not found until the mid 1800s or approx 50 years after first arrival.
On the other hand there was only approx 300,000 people here by then, so I guess they were spread fairly thin and they were mainly on and around the coastline.

Adrian, Can't recall where I read about it, (was it Hargreaves) but gold was found long before the public were advised. The powers to be didn't want a "gold rush" the mass exit from towns and properties would have devastated Australia's early development.
Feel sure one of our learned historians can produce factual information. (Boobook Very Happy )




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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Minermike on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:38 pm

I think it was Ophir gold fields in N.S.W. that they tried to keep quiet . They did not want a Victorian type gold rush .
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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Nightjar on Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:42 am

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Axtyr on Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:34 pm

Nightjar is correct in that gold was discovered before the official discovery dates. According to statements from locals in some areas it was discovered probably at least 10 years prior.

The main reason it wasn't reported was because it was illegal to dig for it as it ALL belonged to the Crown and as such couldn't be touched, as well as the fear of workers abandoning their jobs and throwing the colony into turmoil. After the great gold discoveries in Alaska and the U.S. the migration began and so it became inevitable that there had to be gold found in Australia or the colonials would leave for other lands.

Regards Axtyr.

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Nightjar on Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:41 am

Have heard the word "Gim" referring to gold early days WA goldfields, can anyone find reference to this?


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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Minermike on Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:56 am

Google says it is a person that is very needy .
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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Grandfather Johnson on Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:20 am

There is a member who uses the name gim, maybe he might be able to shine some light on the matter. Cheers

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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Minermike on Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:33 pm

Perhaps I should change my name to Gim ....
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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Nightjar on Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:56 pm

The only reference found here: GIM - Gold Illegally Mined.





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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  Pebbles on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:32 am

Peter, that definition may well be right.

My neighbour, who turns 89 next week, is an old Kalgoorlie man and I remembered that the word “gim” has come up in past conversations.

Yesterday I asked him about it. He recalled that there were blokes who went around offering to sell gim (gold). He also recalled that the asking price was “a pound a pound”.

It is probably reasonable to conclude that the gold being offered for sale was illegally mined,

Col


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Re: Old days mining terms

Post  gim on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:41 pm

yes, Peter that's were it came from, Gold Illegally Mined, old Kalgoorlie miners used to go "Gimming " looking thru the ore that had just been fired in the stope, some very rich stopes on the golden mile, an old miner many years ago told me he had no inside of his thermos he use to fill it up with gim he had found, a old flame of mines father use put gim under a rock, always gone by the end of the shift, picked up his extra wages at the Boulder Block on Friday after work,{ I bet Carrol would have had a few ales in that pub in her younger days} T21

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