Weekend Gold.


Last weekend broke a gold drought for me. Things had been quiet for a while, whether it has been the heat, or just lack of effort on my behalf. The last six months or so, had produced little in the way of gold.

New areas have been opened for fossicking, 30 kilometres west of Warwick. With over 15,000 acres to explore, finding gold should be fairly easy. Only problem has been the gold is not where it should be.

A part of a gully will have gold, but only on the surface. Around a corner in the same gully is a perfectly placed rock bar, with plenty of crevices to catch the gold. But no gold. All the obvious places to find the gold have turned up blank. This is a major goldfield, it produced over 20,000 ounces in six months. It’s not giving me anything. So I’m done with it for a while. Maybe if I feel like punishing myself in the future, I’ll give it another go.

Durikai has plenty of history, and I’ve enjoyed soaking some of that up. I’ve explored the back paddocks, crawled over a few old shafts, and discovered how the Chinese miners dug for gold.

30+ metres.... boarded and braced all the way down.

30+ metres…. boarded and braced all the way down.

The ground west of Warwick is hard, and full of stone and rock. Everything is dry, no matter how much rain there is. Water just disappears quickly out there. In the few places that water does stay for a while, leeches fill the water. Have I made the place sound horrible yet?

Me in a hole, washing some dirt.

Me in a hole, washing some dirt.

Hard work….. that sums it up, quite well. If you’re not fit and healthy, don’t do this for a hobby. Just look at the rock in the previous photo.

Summer is trying to finish, it’s still hanging in there, pushing 30 degrees each day. Over the coming months, cooler days will make it more comfortable for digging. A few more trips away, with new places to try, will keep the weekends from becoming boring.

An old puddler in Duriki.

An old puddler in Durikai.

This weekend was a trip for the nephew’s birthday. His idea, family and friends, camping, gold panning, of course a few drinks at night around the campfire. Only problem, he couldn’t get his Dad to get up and go panning, so he ended up sitting in camp all weekend.

Not I…. I can sit on my bum anytime, I’m doing it right now. It was all gold panning and talking to people I haven’t seen, in too long a time. The Prophet mine is located about a kilometre away from the campgrounds. To convenient, that was the easiest option, and I took it.

I put in a solid three and a half hour session, on Saturday morning, with good quality gold turning up in each pan. Sometimes, 14+ colours in a pan. I headed to the local takeaway/ convenience store for some of the best fish and chips, a hungry man could eat. After arriving back at the camp ground, with my lunch, and after much bragging and inquiring as to whether others would be returning with me to the Prophet mine…. I went back alone!!!!!!

Specimen nuggets and gold flakes for the day.

Specimen nuggets and gold flakes for the day.

My afternoon session at the Prophet, netted me two nice specimen nuggets. The long, thin one turned up first. I didn’t know which way to turn…. there was no one there to show, no one to yell and wahoo with. There is a moment of indecision, do I go to the campground and try to drag the family back? In the end I stayed, half an hour later the second nugget turned up. Just as exciting, but no dilemma.

Stay…look for number three…. I stayed for another hour or so, finding good colour. No more big pieces turned up, so I headed back for a celebratory drink….and a bragging session. Show and tell time.

Even on the Sunday, I couldn’t get any of the family to go to the mine. I thought that was the whole idea of going to that spot. To pan some gold. Well I got mine, and I enjoyed myself. I’ve made plans to return next weekend. Maybe nugget number three is hiding nearby, waiting for me.

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About ivoradventures

Lives Brisbane north. Age 47. Male. Interests-heaps of stuff. Camping, fishing, and gold panning, keeps me quite busy. I still find time to cook,and spend time family and friends. I truly enjoy my daughters company(Shannon), but don't see enough of her since she moved out. There is a certain type of beauty that exists only in the wild places, and it calls to you. Go and explore! And drag someone with you.
This entry was posted in adventure, camping, day trip/adventure/something to do, get away, go bush, gold, gold crevasse, gold fossicking, gold mine, gold panning, history, photography, travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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