Gympie GPA.


 

I’ve been digging at the Gympie GPA for a few months now. Getting away on weekends or rainy days, when work has been cancelled. There has been more than enough colour in my river sluice, to keep it very exciting. I’ve has pieces of Clay “Cutty Pipe” dating back to the 1880’s, old glass and porcelain fragments and of course there has been the gold.

The discovery of gold heralded the origin of mining in Queensland. Mr. Stutchbury, the Government Geologist of New South Wales, found gold near Port Curtis in 1853, and later in 1856, traces were reported on Canning Downs, near Warwick.

Reports of gold discoveries soon followed at numerous sites including Canoona ( 35 miles north of Rockhampton ) and nearby Crocodile Creek in 1865. Each discovery set off a new rush and a scramble to register a mining lease.

Queenslanders were already in a state of excitement when, in October 1867, James Nash announced his discovery of gold at Gympie. Nash’s announcement of a payable gold field came at an opportune time, for Queensland was in the throes of a severe economic crisis.

Fifty firsts number 10 QSA Item 435626 Gympie Goldfield

Fifty firsts number 10 QSA Item 435626 Gympie Goldfield

Four miners and a winch underground at Gympie Goldfield, c 1897.

Within 6 months, 15 000 men had travelled from the surrounding towns and reports of an ounce per pan were common. The largest nugget found in Queensland came from Gympie. Weighing in at 30 kilograms ( 975 oz ), the Curtis Nugget, was named after it’s finder George Curtis. It had been unearthed in February 1868.

The Gympie GPA, follows Deep Creek through it’s gully. It cuts through ground containing the “Columbia, Smithfield, Monkland, Nevermind and Russel Reefs”. All these reefs have been worked, but something is always left behind for us, the fossicker. The big pieces of gold are long gone…. or are they.

Gympie rail bridge

This is the GPA area in it’s hay day. The rail bridge is still there and in use, as are the mullock heaps. I’m working an area just downstream from one of the mollock heaps, maybe some of the gold I’ve found has come from the tailings from the mine shaft.

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Nice little pieces still show up regularly. I suppose one, little nugget, every two or three trips, is the average. My last dig netted me two pieces, that were about half a gram each.

0.57 grams my largest single piece to date.

0.57 grams my largest single piece to date.

I make the trip from Brisbane. I leave early in the morning and drive back in the afternoon, it’s about 90 minutes each way. A lot shorter time than travelling south or west to Warwick.

Gympie Goldfield produced 4, 084, 720 ounces of gold….. and still counting. I’m going to add to the total tomorrow. Good luck to all the treasure hunters out there.

Posted in exlpore, gold, gold fossicking, gold mine, gold panning, history, treasure hunting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Gold from Queensland.


Tried to get away for a dig on Sunday morning, but the weather was not cooperating. The rain just got heavier and heavier. Made it as far as “Wild Horse Mountain” and breakfast at “Hungry Jacks” before to deciding to call it quits.
Monday was fine weather, but my digging buddy was unavailable. Public holiday spent relaxing, is better than nothing.
Rained again on Monday night….. got to job site Tuesday morning and…. flooded. I was heartbroken.
Heartbroken might be a little bit strong of a word…..
I threw the gear into the vehicle…. and disappeared in a cloud of dust. Spent a hour waiting for an accident to clear on the highway, but soon enough, I was there. This is my inspiration for the post title. Shape of Queensland.

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Rain helps with gold fossicking in so many ways…. it provides water to work the material. It makes the ground soft, I want to say that again…. soft. It’s so much easier than hard as concrete, ground. Anyone who has dug the ground at Warwick will know exactly what I mean. And it keeps the dust down.
Less than five hours gave me a nice little pile of gold pieces.

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Safely home again. Till next time. Bye.

 

Posted in get away, gold, gold fossicking, gold panning, the lost Irishman mine, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Enough of Summer.


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I’ve had enough of 30+ degree days and humidity. Time for something a little cooler.

I’ve had enough of that blazing ball of fire. Come back in a month or two.

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Clay Pipe Factory.


Had a great day in what will now be known as “The Clay Pipe Factory”.

Another piece of “Cutty Pipe”, coming out of the same dig site. I think I’m digging a trench, that has been worked by the old timers. I have clay right through the middle of the hole, with pieces of burnt wood mixed through it.

Either side of the hole, has good quality gold bearing material. Note to self…. stop digging the clay, chase the gold bearing material.

Both sides of the hole have highly mineralized ground.

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Red, brown and black…. couldn’t have more going on if it tried.

It was quite on the gold field today. I had the place to myself. So I just took my time and enjoyed the day. A few rain storms passed through, not enough to worry about.

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Gold pieces and broken cutty pipe.

Plenty of gold in the last clean out. It does lift the spirits, to see the gold shining bright in the sunlight. Hard to believe anyone could mistake fools gold with the real thing. (click on the picture to enlarge)

Bright gold on the V-mat.

Bright gold on the V-mat.

A good day out. Looking forward to the next trip.

 

Posted in gold, gold fossicking, gold mine, gold mines, goldmining, panning, treasure, treasure hunting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Platypus and gold.


I’ve just returned from a day trip digging gold. Got a few small pieces of gold, but most interesting was the Platypus, that tried to sneak pasted me when I wasn’t watching.

The Platypus was having a hard time getting up stream through the flow of water. I’m not entirely sure these creatures are graceful in the water, but out of the water, in the current…. not graceful at all. Looked like it was trying to do the back stroke. Hard to miss from less than two metres distance.

By the time I picked up my phone to get a picture, the Platypus had disappeared. I spotted it 20 metres up stream and ran up onto the bank to get a few dozen photo’s. All of which , mostly just show ripples in the water.

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For anyone who does not know what a Platypus looks like, it’s a Small creature similar to a Beaver, except it has a Ducks bill and lays eggs as it’s young.

Platypus-sketch

Found only in Eastern Australia. So that was a highlight of the day.

As usual Queenslands second last day of Summer was hot (34 degrees). Nothing unexpected there, I do hope the weather cools off rapidly. Maybe a nice 25 degrees.

There was some small pieces of gold, that lifted the spirits. Five bits went 0.2 grams, total.

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It was a good dig, about four and a half hours, digging . Over two hours of traffic on the way home. Came to a complete stop on the highway about six times, but all things considered, a good run for Sunday afternoon. Cleaned up the gold at home, because I left my “SNUFFER BOTTLE” at home. 20160228_164909_002

Next weekend, Autumn, cooler weather…. who am I kidding…. I’ll give it another go…. just so I can show you another photo. What will you be doing?

Note to self, get better organized…. don’t forget “SNUFFER BOTTLE”.

Posted in adventure, gold, gold fossicking, gold mine, gold panning, goldmining, nature, photography, the lost Irishman mine, treasure, treasure hunting, Uncategorized, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Finds while digging.


I do quite often come across unusual things while digging for that yellow stuff.

Australia Day had me sweating like crazy, hot and humid. I set up the river sluice and went to dig some of the cobble layer that we have been working for the last few trips. Two buckets of dirt and I was soaked with sweat, felt like I had just stepped out of the shower. There is always room for a little more in the bucket, no matter how full the bucket is. So grabbing two loose lumps of dirt, the first went into the bucket….. The second made me stop and look. From the angle I was looking at, my first thought was it’s dog poo. It was off white, like bleached dog poo, that’s been in the Sun. Pointy on one end……

It was half way over my shoulder before I pulled up, on it’s way to “Deep Creek” forever. Something stopped my arm in mid flight. I looked again…. I turned it over….. It was hollow on the other end. It was a clay pipe bowl.

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Shock, surprise, a little excitement…. well a lot of excitement. Zero buckets of dirt through the sluice and a really great find.

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Notice the shield on the bowl. For sure a makers mark…. something easy to put a date on…. come on 1800’s, yeah.

After some fruitless searching on “Google” learning nothing useful, I asked friends. More precisely another WordPress blogger, “Brisbane Digger”( brisbanedigger.wordpress.com ). Strangely my bottle digging friend had no idea of any info on clay pipes, I thought for sure that would have paid off with quality information. Back to the mighty “Google”.

There is a site run by U.S. Parks and Wildlife on how to identify and date clay pipes. That did not help me at this time. Obviously there are a lot of clay pipes in the U.S. found everywhere??? I don’t know.

I found a site in the U.K., run by a lady, who makes replicas, for period reenactors, movies and television series. Heather Coleman, was a wealth of information and photos.

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5″ Cutty pipe, found in Gympie, QLD.

 

 

So that is the pipe I found, lightly cleaned, to show detail. Pictures went to heather@dawnmyst.org. Along with some hastily blurted questions. I shall repeat Heathers reply, it was everything I hoped for, could not have been better.

 

“Hello Ivor

The pipe bowl you have found I would normally date between about 1865 and 1925, a tighter time frame might be about 1880-1910.

I think the origin for this one would be either English or Scottish manufacture. It was likely a short pipe of about 5 inches long with a straight stem and ideal to hold in the mouth while smoking and working hands-free. So it could well fit in with the workings there but might not be at the time of arrival but during the time when digging was going on I would say yes.

The shield symbolism is common on pipes from England and the shields with cross-hatching like this come in several shapes, sometimes shields, sometimes a clover shape, sometimes a heart. They are thought to mean loyalty in working mens groups. Some come with heart and hand symbols which might be connected with Ireland ( the Hand of Ulster symbolism which I think is political ). So your pipe might be Irish. Some pipes for Irish people were made in England and Scotland as you know many Irish emigrated around the world.

The pipe will not date from before 1860. Have attached images of some examples I have seen.

Hope this helps

Heather.”

These are the images Heather sent with her email.

Lots and lots of helpful and useful information.

It was a hot, humid day, wet with sweat, excited and feeling like an archaeologist. I moved plenty of gold bearing material. Then it rained, and rained. Wet with sweat, washed and dripping from the rain, I did my last clean up, and headed home.

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A Cutty pipe from the 1800’s and the days take of gold.

A good day digging. Hope someone else finds something great and shares it.

Only in Queensland.

Next time…..

 

Posted in adventure, day trip/adventure/something to do, do anything, entertainment, exlpore, get away, go bush, gold, gold crevasse, gold fossicking, gold mine, gold mines, gold panning, goldmining, history, panning, photography, the lost Irishman mine, treasure, treasure hunting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gympie Public Fossicking Area.


I’ve been giving this place a good run over the last three weekends. You can not just wash a pan full of dirt, and expect to find a pan full of gold. Like every thing in life it’s a struggle. Effort equals reward.

Two days…. moving a lot of dirt.

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As the photo shows…. there is gold there, if you are willing to work for it. That may be a sapphire between the two clunkers. Both sizeable pieces of gold come in at 0.2 grams each.

It’s the middle of Summer here in Brisbane, hot, and unpleasant, to be digging a hole. But that is the crazy hobby that I love so much. It’s such a rush to find a chunky piece of gold. I’ve been using my river sluice in “Deep Creek” to process more material. Cleaning up only after 8-12 buckets of dirt. Deep Creek has plenty of water to operate a river sluice.

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It’s very nice to see small pieces of gold in the rubber V-mating, in front of the sluice. Drives you to push more material through your sluice. Last Sundays effort….

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It looks like Queensland gold is as bright as ever. ( That big piece looks a bit like a map of Queensland. )

Thank you to everyone who reads and comments to my stories. Your feedback is welcome. Keep digging.

 

Posted in day trip/adventure/something to do, gold, gold fossicking, gold mine, gold mines, gold panning, goldmining, treasure, treasure hunting | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments