Gold Detecting and Prospecting Forum
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Post  Guest Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:31 pm


E. J. Kenny

Introduction and History

The discovery of gold in payable quantities in 1851 was the means of encouraging a vigorous prospecting campaign, which led to further discoveries of valuable gold ores, and, subsequently, of important ore deposits containing valuable metals such as silver, lead, zinc, tin, and copper.
The romance attending the search for gold, and the expectation of fortunes thus to be quickly made, attracted pioneers and immigrants of the most desirable type to Australia. and thus assisted to stabilise, in the most material manner, the beginnings of its young nationhood.
To the period of marked prosperity into which the mining industry of New South Wales thus entered, the output of gold contributed ‘in greatest measure. the value of the production of this mineral reaching a maximum of £2,660,946 in 1852.
The total production of gold in New South Wales to the end of 1927 is 14.968,346 ounces fine, valued at £63.581.454, or less than one-sixth of the value of the total output of all minerals produced in the State. To the best of our knowledge the first reference to the occurrence of gold dh the Australian continent is furnished by the Dauphin Chart( a map of Australia), dated 1530 to 1536, preserved in the British Museum. London. and which is believed to have been reproduced from earlier Portuguese charts. On this map the north-western coast of the continent is named Costa d’Ouro. meaning Gold Coast. However, ‘ the first authentic record of gold discovery In Australia is given in a field-book of Assistant Surveyor McBrien, and now In the possession of the Lands Department, Sydney.
In 1823 McBrien was engaged In the survey of a road along the Fish River, between Rydal and Bathurst. At one station in his traverse he records the following note:- ---AtE. (E. signifying end of survey line) 1 chain 50 links to river and marked gum tree. At this place I found
numerous particles of gold in the hills convenient to river.---
This locality is on the north side of the Fish River, 3 miles east-south-east of Locsley railway station on the main line from Sydney to Bourke. A considerable quantity of gold was won in later years from the soil in the neighbourhood by the process known as “surfacing”. Subsequently many references to the occurrence of gold In New South Wales were recorded, but It was not until the year 1851 that the case for a widespread and thorough prospecting campaign was presented properly to the
public. In April of that year there was enacted at Ophir a scene which was destined to place Australia upon the stage of national greatness, and the events which preceded the discovery read as a romance.
Edward Hammond Hargraves returned from the goldfields of California In January, 1851, Impressed by the resemblance of the geologlcal formations of the goldfields of California with those of the district around Lewis Ponds Creek, near Orange, which he had visited seventeen years previously. In February Hargraves proceeded to Gulgong and called at a hotel on tile old Bathurst -Orange road. kept by a widow named Mrs. Lister, whose husband Hargraves had known years before. He then obtained the services of young John Hardman Australia Lister, promising that If he would guide him to Emu Creek, Lewis Ponds, and Summer Hill Creek he would show him where to find gold. They proceeded to a spot 2 miles above the junction of Lewis Ponds and Summer Hill Creek, and on 12th February, 1851, Hargraves washed out six pans of earth, obtaining a grain of gold in each, with the exception of one.
Later Hargraves and Lister were joined by James Tom, of Springfield, and they proceeded to Burrandong, returning up the bed of the Macquarie River. A little gold, known to miners as colours, was obtained in many places.
Hargraves then visited the Wellington- Dubbo district and, in the meantime, John Lister and James Torn visited the Turon River where they found a nice speck of gold.


Another interesting link it’s not what you think. cheers


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