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             GOLD OCCURRENCES IN CENTRAL QUEENSLAND

 

 

For detailed locations, please refer to the following Geological Sheets/Maps:  

Ayr;   Bowen;   Clermont;   Duaringa;   Emerald;   Mackay;    Monto;   Mount Coolon;

Percy Isles;    Rockhampton;   Saint Lawrence.

Just 'click' on to any of the following main headings:

 

GLADSTONE AREA – Overview

  • Gaeta Goldfield

  • Garson’s Gold Mine

  • Mount Bania gold prospect

  • Tararan gold prospect

  • Cherry Bell gold prospect

  • Busy Bee gold prospect

  • Bell Booth Mine

  • Jackass mine

  • Glassford Creek Mining Field

  • Mount Jacob (Bompa) Gold Mines

  • Mount Cannindah Mineral Field

  • Many Peaks

  • Gladstone / Calliope Goldfield and the surrounding area

  • Barmundoo Goldfield

  • Milton (Norton) Goldfield

  • Monal Goldfield

  • Mount Rainbow Goldfield

  • Langmorn Goldfield

ROCKHAMPTON AREA - Overview

  • Gavial Creek

  • Mount Usher

  • Struck Oil & Dee River

  • Mount Morgan

  • Rosewood Goldfield

  • Ridgelands Goldfield

  • Morinish Goldfield

  • Hunter's Gully

  • Mount Cassidy

  • Mount Chalmers

  • Cawarral

  • New Zealand Gully

  • Canoona Goldfield

  • Torilla District

  • Ulam Goldfield

  • Stanwell Goldfield

  • Miscellaneous Goldfields

EMERALD AREA

CLERMONT GOLDFIELD

  • Peak Downs Copper Lode

MACKAY AREA

  • Mt Coolon

  • Eungella

PROSERPINE AREA

  • Duffer Mine, Dittmer

  • Dittmer Mine

  • Happy Valley area

  • Silver Wattle Claim

  • Golden Hill Mine

COLLINSVILLE AREA

BOWEN AREA

  • Normanby Goldfield

  • Mount Hector area

  • Marengo Goldfield

  • Isolated occurrences

AYR AREA - Overview

  • Reid River

  • Star River Goldfield

  • Burdekin River

  • Mount Wyatt Goldfield

  • Ukalunda Goldfield

 

 

GLADSTONE AREA Overview

The main centres of past production in the Monto Geological Sheet area have been Glassford, Many Peaks and Mount Cannindah (copper); Calliope, Milton (Norton), Monal and Cania (gold). The deposits were worked during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. Active mining in the area has virtually ceased, and the only recent production has been from the precipitation of copper from the mine waters at Mount Cannindah. Much of the sheet area has been investigated by mining companies, but, to date, no major mining developments have taken place.

Mineralization is restricted to the Palaeozoic rocks, and to the Upper Permian and Lower Triassic granitic rocks. Cold mineralization in both granitic and sedimentary units, occurs in narrow veins, composed of quartz, or quartz and calcite, and is accompanied by abundant sulphide mineralization (pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite). The relatively small size of the “reefs”, combined with their refractory nature, were the major difficulties in development.  

Many of my customers have reported good gold finds around the Gladstone water tower near the city centre.  It is found in quartz some of which is iron-stained. A real good look around in this general area could prove there are other spots in the immediate vicinity that could be investigated further.  Never think that an area has been "done over" as it has been proven time after time that gold can still be found .... even today.

Gaeta Goldfield

Seven distinct quartz fissure reefs occur within the 3.75km² of the Gaeta Mining Field, 42km west-northwest of Gin Gin. The most important of the reefs was the Pioneer, which was worked in the early 1880s, between 1904 and 1906, in 1910, 1912, and the late 1940s. An auriferous fissure reef was worked in the oxidized zone over a length of 800m. Some smaller reefs in the area have also been prospected. The quartz reefs are steeply dipping and generally strike in a south-easterly to east-south-easterly direction. They occur in a quartz diorite, which probably represents the younger Triassic phase of the composite Permo Triassic Miriam Vale Granodiorite.

Many large xenoliths of hornfelsed sediments of the Curtis Island Group, exposures of pegmatite and granodiorite, and intermediate and acid dykes occur in the general vicinity of the reefs. The mineralisation is post quartz diorite, but probably still Triassic in age. The Pioneer reef was mined in three main sections up to a maximum depth of 55.5m and a maximum thickness of 60cm. Minor pyrite, pyrrhotite, and chalcopyrite occur in the hanging wall and footwall sections. Gold values ranged from about 54grams per tonne in the oxidised part of the reef to a weighted average of 29grams per tonne at the 55.5m level in the Main shaft and 15grams per tonne of primary ore in the Miller shaft section in the north-west part of the reef. 

Production from the Gaeta area for the period 1880 to 1882 is recorded as 8.43kg of gold from 482 tonnes of ore, but A.K. Denmead (1939) suggests that the tonnage mined may have been 1,352 tonnes containing an average of 10.7grams per tonne, with recovery only about 50 per cent. From 1904 to 1906 the Gaeta Pioneer Mining Company crushed 1,923.5 tonnes of ore for 47.9kg of gold, and during the period 1910 to 1912, 35.6 tonnes of ore yielded 529grams of gold. Siemon reported that 4,064 tonnes of tailings may have been treated in 1932 and another 183 tonnes (for 435grams of gold) in 1947. Although attempts were made to mine the Pioneer reef in the late 1940s, they were unsuccessful. A recent programme of diamond drilling carried out by the Mines Department failed to locate any mineralisation of economic grade. The reef was located beneath the known level of workings, but the maximum grade intersected was only 5.5grams of gold per tonne and 4.0grams of silver per tonne over a true width of 58cm.

Some small mines and prospects occur within the Miriam Vale Granodiorite and in Palaeozoic sediments and volcanics adjacent to their contact with the granodiorite. None of these is of economic importance. All are of restricted lateral and vertical extent and are associated with small quartz fissure lodes or veins. From south to north they are as follows:

Garson’s Gold Mine

Garson's Gold Mine is located 8km northwest of Gin Gin in sheared argillaceous sediments of the Biggenden Beds. Two leases were held over this area in the 1930's. The main reef of quartz and calcite strikes 220° and dips 50° south-east; it is strongly faulted and apparently cuts out at 15.2 m depth. Trial crushings totalling 44.7 tonnes yielded 674grams of gold; the battery sands assayed at between 9 and 11grams of gold per tonne. No further production is recorded.

Mount Bania gold prospect

The Mount Bania gold prospect is located 31km west-north-west of Gin Gin; it is also known as the “Red Streak”. Gold occurs together with pyrite in altered (‘gossanous’) and irregularly shaped masses of porphyritic granophyre in Miriam Vale Granodiorite. Some areas were reported to contain 23grams of gold per tonne, but assays generally showed less than 5grams of gold per tonne. Trial crushings in 1935 yielded 200grams of gold from 39.6 tonnes of ore. The irregular and patchy nature of the mineralisation reduces the economic potential of this deposit. Traces of molybdenite and a copper silicate were reported to occur in thin quartz veins in the area.

Tararan gold prospect

The Tararan gold prospect is located near the Bruce Highway 22km north-west of Gin Gin. Very thin, north-west-striking veins or partings of quartz occur in biotite schist developed in the Curtis Island Group 40m from its contact with the Miriam Vale Granodiorite. No production is recorded although 300 to 375grams of specimen gold were collected.

Cherry Bell gold prospect

The Cherry Bell gold prospect is located 18km north-west of Gin Gin. An 8 to 25cm quartz vein of approximately 24m length in biotite granite averaged only 7.8grams of gold per tonne. A trial crushing of 3 tonnes in 1933 assayed 18.4 grams of gold per tonne. No production is recorded.

Busy Bee gold prospect

The Busy Bee gold prospect is located about 5km north of the Cherry Bell. Denmead reported that of several quartz veins in altered sediments, lavas, and granite in the area, only one is gold bearing.  Assays of 13.5grams of gold and 3.1grams of silver per tonne were considered far from encouraging.

Bell Booth Mine

The Bell Booth mine (also called Curd’s gold prospect) is located at Rosedale (55km by rail north-west of Bundaberg). is located near the Busy Bee. Auriferous veins striking 120° with vertical dip occur in a small body of granite up to 300m from its contact with the altered sediments. A sample yielded 9.2grams of gold and 3.1grams of silver per tonne. No production is recorded from either of these prospects. Low gold values are recorded from an area about 8km north-north-west of Rosedale .

Jackass mine

In the far north of the Geological Sheet area the Jackass mine is located on a quartz fissure reef in poorly exposed Miriam Vale Granodiorite, 25km north of Miriam Vale. The reef and an associated ironstone leader strike about 275° and dip an average of 60° south. The fissure ranges in width from a few centimetres to up to 2.7 m. Stillwell described the ore as comprising quartz, calcite, chlorite, and pyrite, with very minor quantities of arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, tetrahedrite, native bismuth, and gold. The gold occurs both free in the quartz and in the chalcopyrite and pyrite. The reef was mined in 1939 and in the period 1948 to 1953. The grade of ore worked varied considerably up to a maximum of 47.5grams of gold per tonne. A representative sample of sulphide ore assayed 44.8 grams of gold per tonne. Production in 1939 is recorded as 62grams of gold from 2.5 tonnes of ore, but between 1948 and 1953 a total of 309.23 tonnes of ore from two shafts working a 27m long ore shoot to a depth of 14.6m yielded 10.3255kg of gold and 1.3250kg of bullion.

Glassford Creek Mining Field  

The Glassford Creek Mineral Field is 13km west of Many Peaks and includes two centres of former mining activity, Glassford Creek and Many Peaks. The field, which has an area of 97 square miles, was proclaimed in 1900, and includes the former Bompa Goldfield.

The Glassford Creek gold deposits were first discovered in 1893, and copper mining commenced in 1899, after unsuccessful attempts to mine silver and gold. Glassford township (now abandoned) was situated on Coppermine Creek, 14 miles by road from Many Peaks. Access, for four-wheel drive vehicles only, is from the Many Peaks - Monto road. The track follows the course of Coppermine Creek, and was a major difficulty in the exploitation of the deposits.

The more important gold-copper deposits at this centre were exploited between 1905 and 1907, when a local smelter operated. Production (of an intermittent nature) has since been confined to odd shoots of copper ore, which occasionally carry over 30grams of gold per tonne. Large quantities of cupriferous lode material exist in the vicinity of the main workings, but development work alone would indicate how much of this contains sufficient values in copper, gold, and silver to constitute ore.

The deposits were first worked by the Bompa Syndicate, from 1899 to 1903. This syndicate had failed in its attempts to smelt the ore when the Glassford Creek Copper Mining Company commenced its operations in 1905. This company was unable to work the deposits at a profit, due to a combination of factors including transport difficulties, lack of sufficient sulphide ores. and a fall in metal prices in 1907. Minor development work was continued until 1910. Small parcels of ore were produced between 1915 and 1918, and from 1932 until 1945, although none of this ore was smelted at Glassford. There has been no production since 1945.

The ores are of contact-metasomatic type, and they occur associated with skarns, developed from rocks of the Caswell Creek Group. Tile skarns occur as roof pendants within the Glassford Complex, within a short distance of its contact with the sediments. Garnet and magnetite are the principal gangue minerals in the primary ore; the magnetite has altered to hematite in the oxidized zones. Copper minerals present are chalcopyrite, bornite and chalcocite; other sulphides present are sphalerite and galena. Gold and silver are associated with the copper mineralization.

The principal workings were the Blue Bag and the Lady Inez, which lay at the north and south, respectively, of a line of workings which extends for more than a mile. Ball described the workings and general geology, and Shepherd described the workings during the last period of operations in the area. Workings at both the Blue Bag and Lady Inez consist of open cuts in the oxidized ( surface) deposits, with several shafts and drives to work below the open cuts. Production amounted to 18,116 tons of ore, for a yield of 724 tons of copper, 2,540 oz. of gold and 23,250 oz. of silver.  Shepherd (1942) stated that reserves of up to 20,000 tons of 3 percent ore could be present in the Blue Bag area and up to 200,000 ton; of 2.3 percent ore in the Lady Inez area. The iron oxide minerals are not considered to be potential producers of iron ores.

Mount Jacob (Bompa) Gold Mines

A small group of gold workings is situated in the foothills of the Bobby Range, on the headwaters of the Boyne River. No present vehicle access is known, and the mines were not visited during the recent mapping. The mines were first worked in 1889 and had been virtually worked out by 1905. Illidge reviewed the history of the field to that time, listing a production of approximately 9,400 ozs of gold. The deposits have not been worked since 1924, and are not considered to be of potential interest, since they are small, and mineralization is patchy. The area in which the mines are situated is mapped as Castletower Granite, on air photo interpretation. No other mineralization is known in this mass.

Mount Cannindah Mineral Field

This field, of 2¼ square miles, was proclaimed in 1892. It is situated on Cabbage Tree Creek, in the Dawes Range, and is 12 miles south-south-west of Many Peaks. Access is by vehicle track from the Many Peaks - Monto road, near Kalpowar. The area was first prospected for gold; copper deposits were discovered after work had commenced on the alluvial gold deposits in Cabbage Tree Creek. Rands described the early activity of the area in both gold and copper mining. Ball described the general geology and the workings of the Mount Cannindah Copper Mine. He presented a detailed chronological table of development of the mine up to 1914. Minor gold occurrences are: Glandore, Monal (Eastern Star), Maxwelton, Mount Blowhard, Yarrol.

Many Peaks

Many Peaks is 93km by rail south of Gladstone. The large ore-bodies of the Many Peaks mine supplied 508,000 tonnes of heavy sulphide fluxing ores to the Mount Morgan Mine between 1910 and 1918. Copper and gold values are probably too low to allow of future exploitation for those metals alone.

Gladstone / Calliope Goldfield and the surrounding area

In the Gladstone district there has been considerable gold-mining at Calliope (26km from Gladstone), Barmundoo and Rainbow fields (50 to 60km south-west of Gladstone), Norton (Milton) gold field (53km south of Gladstone),  Monal (68km south of Gladstone), and Bompa (71km south-east of Gladstone). There has been little work in recent years. On each of these fields, alluvial mining gave place to reefing and it seems that, particularly in the case of the Norton field there were treatment difficulties once the oxidized zone was passed. Future activity on these fields will probably depend on the possibility of reworking the old mines with modern methods of treatment. More recently developed was a small gold mine at Rodd’s Peninsula.

Barmundoo Goldfield

The Barmundoo Goldfield. 253 square miles in area, was proclaimed in 1894, following the discovery of gold in the Tablelands area in 1887. Access to the area is by road from the Biloela - Gladstone road, by way of station tracks. The Tableland area lies between the headwaters of Dan Dan Creek and Crimean Creek. Gold was won from both alluvial and reef deposits. The reefs are narrow, and consist of sulphide-bearing quartz veins in a granodiorite stock. The oxidized and gossanous portions of the reefs were quickly worked out, and the refractory sulphide ores were not suitable for treating on the field. Transport difficulties further complicated the exploitation of the deposits since access roads to the area are subject to flooding in wet weather. The alluvial deposits derived from the reefs were of small size, and are considered to be worked out.

The most recent period of activity was between 1930 and 1940. Several inspections were made by departmental geologists, but prospects were generally poor. Small gold occurrences are known elsewhere within the goldfield area, but are not of commercial importance. The rock in which the reefs occur is granodioritic in composition, and fresh material is difficult to obtain. The mass is probably related to the Galloway Plains Tonalite. The Barmundoo Goldfield is not considered to offer any potential for future development on a large scale.

Milton (Norton) Goldfield

Gold was discovered on Norton Creek by Williams and Lett in 1871. The Milton (Norton) Goldfield is approximately 26 square miles in area and was proclaimed as a goldfield in 1879. The mines are situated near Norton Creek, approximately 5 miles upstream from its junction with the Boyne River. Access is by vehicle track from the Gladstone-Many Peaks road. At the time of Rands’ inspection of the field, several reefs were being mined. Shafts had been sunk to nearly 400 feet in both the Advancer and Who’d-ha’ thought-it, and others were more than 100 feet deep. Hall inspected the mines in 1906, and his geological report includes detailed descriptions of the workings and a map showing the location of the individual deposits.

Almost the entire production of the Norton Goldfield has been from the reefs. Gold occurred in ‘compound veins’ or 'formations', consisting of altered granitic rocks, veined and impregnated with secondary minerals. Quartz and calcite are the principal gangue minerals. Sulphide minerals are present in the veins below the water table, and their presence caused considerable difficulty in the extraction of the gold and silver. Ball records the presence of pyrite, sphalerite (blende), chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite (mispickel), galena and marcasite in the ores. The reefs occur in a grey granodiorite, an extension of the Miriam Vale Granodiorite, separated from the main part of the intrusion by a younger body of Castletower Granite.

Production figures for the field are incomplete, but Ball lists principal crushings and returns for the period 1878-1905, amounting to 16,630 ozs of gold. The Annual Report of the Department of Mines for 1890, records a production of 2,328 ozs. in addition to Ball’s total. It is probable, then, that the total production exceeded 20,000 ozs. Silver is present in most of the reefs.

This field is considered to offer some possibilities for further exploration and development, since metallurgical problems in gold extraction were the principal cause of closure of the mines. However, the existing price of gold (at that time) is too low to inspire interest in this and other small fields. Ball reported that attempts had been made to treat the ore by roasting and chlorination, without success. The possibility of treating the complex ores by flotation has not been investigated.

Monal Goldfield

This goldfield has an area of 104 square miles, the principal centre of activity being Mount Hector. Access to the area is by way of secondary roads and station tracks from the Monto - Many Peaks road. There has been very little activity in the area since 1946. Most of the gold was obtained from sulphide-bearing quartz veins in rocks of the Crana Beds which were worked in several places. Principal mines were the Lady Griffiths, Mount Forrest, Trident, Great Eastern, Southern Cross and United Rise. Gold production from the Monal Goldfield is approximately 20,000 ozs. Shepherd stated that recorded production from Monal over the period 1891-1904 was 19,000 ozs.

The Monal Goldfield is considered to be of little further potential, because of the small size of the individual reefs. The possibility of small-scale operations is not discounted, and any further prospecting in the area should be directed to the contact between the Glassford Complex and its country rocks.

Mount Rainbow Goldfield

The Mount Rainbow Goldfield has an area of 14 square miles. It includes Mount Buckland and Specimen Hill at the headwaters of Collards Creek. Access is by track from the Biloela – Gladstone road. Cameron visited the workings and described the local geological features. The deposits occur in deep leads beneath Tertiary basic lavas, and as reefs within the Galloway Plains Tonalite. The reefs are narrow, and contain arsenical sulphides. Production from the field is of the order of 8,000 ozs. (This information was taken from the Annual Reports of the Department of Mines). There has been little activity on the field for many years, and it is not being worked at present. It is not considered to offer any potential as a major gold producer in the future.

Langmorn Goldfield

The Langmorn Goldfield, west of Gladstone covers a large area extending from Targinie (39km south-southwest of Rockhampton) west to the Dee Range, and embraces the Raglan, Mount Larcom and Targinie fields. The Raglan field was discovered in 1867. The reserve covers an area of 4 square miles immediately west of Raglan, but most of the alluvial gold was found outside this reserve. The most important reef was the Duke of Brittany reef  which was described by Rands. This reef, situated about .4km west of Raglan, consisted of ferruginous quartz, and assayed about ½ oz/ton gold. About 1,000 oz of gold were obtained from the mouth of a tunnel driven to intersect this reef. Rands described several other reefs from this area, but production from these is not known.

The Mount Bennett Mine is situated about 22.5km south of Raglan. This mine was worked from 1901 to 1904, when 1,099 oz of gold were obtained from 2,972 tons of ore, and 602 oz were recovered from tailings. The mine closed down in 1904, and subsequent attempts to reopen the mine have been unsuccessful.

At Mount Raglan, 9.6km to the east, a large body of quartz was reported to assay from 3 to 8 dwt/ton of gold. A company was formed in 1901 to work this lode, but no production is recorded, and the lode was apparently unpayable. Samples taken by the Geological Survey of Queensland in 1946 assayed from trace to 2 dwts/ton gold.

The Mount Turrett Reef is within .8km of Mount Raglan. The reef is at least 50 yards long and 8 to 10 feet wide, and was stated to be more highly mineralized than the Mount Raglan Reef. There is no production recorded from this reef.

The Duke of York Mine is situated on Nine Mile Creek, a tributary of Langmorn Creek. It was first worked in 1901, and until 1913 had produced 2,286 oz of gold from 1,637 tons of ore, with 1,281 oz of gold recovered from the tailings.

Numerous small mines near Targinie have been worked at times since the original discovery in 1900. The reefs have been described by Cameron and Reid with some additional references given by Dunstan. Cameron described reefs up to 1.5m wide, but with a very erratic gold distribution, although rich shoots were present in places Reid described numerous small narrow quartz veins in granite and the hornfelsed country rocks assaying 1 to 3 oz/ton gold. Dunstan recorded garnet-epidote rock at the contact, containing copper and manganese mineralisation. Production from this area appears to have been small. The total recorded gold production from the Langmorn Goldfield from 1893 is 19,566 oz.

SPECIAL NOTE!    

Gold nuggets have been found by some of my customers,  detecting in the vicinity of the water tower in the heart of Gladstone.

 

ROCKHAMPTON AREA - Overview

Nine proclaimed Goldfields lie within the Rockhampton and Port Clinton Geological Sheet areas, and gold occurrences are discussed for each field. Some gold mines were located outside proclaimed fields. In each field the initial discovery was of alluvial gold, and reef mining developed subsequently. Although some of the reefs were very rich, most were small and few sustained mining operations for long periods. Most occurred in granitic rocks or in the country rocks adjacent to the granitic rocks. These reefs are associated with intrusive rocks of at least four ages, viz. Middle Devonian, late Lower Permian, late Upper Permian, and possibly Cretaceous. Gold near Mount Wheeler may be associated with the Upper Cretaceous plug forming Mount Wheeler. However in some places, notably Mount Chalmers there is no obvious source for the gold or control of mineralization.

Gavial Creek

Gold was discovered near the headwaters of Gavial Creek in 1865, and in the following year about 2,000 people were working the field. However it was rapidly deserted. The Hector Reef, the first reef worked in Queensland, is located in this part of the field. This is described by Dunstan as a quartz reef containing gold, chalcopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, and traces of nickel. The country rock is gabbro. Work at the mine began in 1866, and the first crushing was made in 1867.

Early production from the mine was not recorded, but between 1890 and 1913, 3,279 tons of ore were crushed for a yield of 3,599 oz of gold. This excludes the yield for 1903 when 2, 260 tons of ore were crushed, but no yield is given. Treatment of tailings from 1899 to 1904 yielded 3,933 oz of gold.

Jack described several reefs near Bouldercombe. These were all quartz reefs up to 6 inches thick, in breccia zones up to 4 feet wide, in granitic rocks. The reefs contained gold, chalcopyrite, pyrite and sometimes sphalerite. They generally assayed less than 1 oz/ton gold. Production from these mines is not recorded, but was presumably small. Jack also described small reefs in sedimentary rocks to the north-east of Bouldercombe.

The Hidden Star Mine is situated about .8km from the Hector Mine. It was first worked in 1934, Denmead described two reefs consisting of vitreous or porcellaneous quartz containing biotite, garnet, and chlorite, which had replaced altered slates and limestone along bedding planes close to their contact with a granodiorite to the west. From 1934 to 1936, 1,187 oz of gold were obtained from 2,692 tons of ore, and a further 150 oz were recovered from tailings in 1936. Similar smaller mines in this area were described by Denmead and Reid. Several attempts have been made to work the alluvium along Gavial Creek using dredges.

However, the coarseness of the gravel and lack of water have made such operations difficult. The first attempt was in 1901 and 1902, when the Lord Roberts United Gold Dredger produced 231 oz of gold. However the operations were uneconomic and the dredging ceased. Between 1934 and 1938, the Crocodile Creek Gold Dredging Company treated 251, 000 cubic yards of alluvium for a yield of 2,352 oz of gold. This company was liquidated in 1938, and the machinery was purchased by the Resarf Gold Dredging Company. This new company obtained 1,408 oz of gold from 175,000 cubic yards of gravel, from 1938 to 1944.

Mount Usher  

Mount Usher (26km south of Rockhampton). Gold was discovered in the alluvial flats towards the head of Gavial Creek and these have been extensively worked above the township of Bouldercombe by prospectors and on a larger scale by dredge to depths up to 10m. The last period of major activity ended in 1945. Quartz mining has been carried on successfully on the Mount Usher Anglo-Saxon, Elsie and Victor lodes. It is possible that further payable reefs or leaders will be found. The area is characterized by rich but small shoots.

Struck Oil & Dee River

Struck Oil and Dee River (8km from Mount Morgan). Rich deposits were worked in previous years, the Dee River deposits being noted for the size of nuggets obtained. Miners still prospect there occasionally.

Mount Morgan

Gold was known from the Mount Morgan area prior to 1882, but in that year the Morgan Brothers recognized an ore body and formed a syndicate to work it. In 1886 a registered company, the Mount Morgan Gold Milling Company, was formed to work the mine. Initially only gold was produced, but copper production began in 1902 following its discovery in the lower workings.

The gossan on the ore body, which was up to 300 feet thick, contained the greatest enrichment of supergene gold found in mining. Operations were successful until after World War I, when the fall in the price of copper and rising mining costs made economic mining difficult. In 1925 the underground workings were gutted by fire, and the mine was flooded to control the fire. The company went into voluntary liquidation in 1927. This company had treated 9,307,000 tons of ore for 5,345,000 oz of gold and 140,000 tons of copper.

The Mount Morgan large-scale open-cut mining operation for many years, provided the States principal production of gold and a substantial contribution to its copper production. The pyrite tailings are a potential source of sulphur.

Rosewood Goldfield

The Rosewood Goldfield is 52km west of Rockhampton. Gold was discovered here in 1867. Several nuggets up to 100 oz in weight were found, but after the rich alluvial patches were worked out, the field rapidly became deserted. Some reef mining was done but little information on the geology of these reefs is recorded. Dunstan records the Caledonia Reef as quartz containing pyrite and chalcopyrite, and the Great Northern Copper Mine as working a quartz reef containing chalcopyrite and copper oxides.

Ridgelands Goldfield

Gold was discovered at Ridgelands (32km north-west of Rockhampton) in 1866. Some of the patches of alluvial gold were very rich. Reef mining did not become very important because the water level was rapidly reached and the mines were then abandoned. Very little information on the geology of these mines or their production has been recorded. Benjamin Dunstan records the Morning Star Mine as working a quartz reef 2 feet wide, which assayed 2 oz of gold to the ton.

Morinish Goldfield

Alluvial gold was discovered at Morinish, 56km north-west of Rockhampton, in 1866. On and at the head of Louisa Creek a large quantity of alluvial gold has been obtained.

The gold was very patchy in its distribution, and reef mining soon became dominant. Jack described the Welcome Reef as quartz containing pyrite, arsenopyrite, and minor galena and sphalerite, in fine-grained greywacke. This appears to have been the main mine in the area. The only production figures recorded are for 1899 and 1900 when 3,965 tons of tailings were treated for 2,636 oz of gold. The Alliance Mine is recorded by Dunstan as having worked a quartz reef containing native copper, redruthite, tenorite and other copper ores. Recorded production from this mine from 1889 to 1904 is 1,883 oz of gold from 3,128 tons of ore, and 845 oz of gold from tailings. The Mount Morinish Mine produced 1,029 oz of gold from 1,076 tons of ore from 1889 to 1906.

Hunter's Gully

Auriferous reefs have been worked to some extent in recent years at Hunters Gully and Blackfellow’s Gully, but operations have now ceased. Gold was produced from deep leads in Hunter’s Gully. The gold occurs in wash of probable Cretaceous age up to 13 feet thick. The wash consists of pebbles of chert, shale, and quartz, and rare cobbles of igneous rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, set in a cemented gritty matrix containing magnetite and ilmenite grains. Only the basal two feet of the wash contained gold. There were no defined gutters and the gold was very patchy in its distribution. The conglomerate unconformably overlies indurated Lower Carboniferous shale, and is overlain by green unctuous clay containing coaly laminae, which in turn is overlain by Cretaceous basalt. The first recorded production was in 1909 and 1910, when 80 oz of gold were produced from 91 tons of wash. Mining recommenced in 1935, and up to 1939 a further 914 oz of gold were produced from 811 tons of wash. A further 221oz of gold was produced from 1939 to 1946.

Mount Cassidy

Gold was discovered in 1930 in the Mount Cassidy area situated approximately 72km north-west of Rockhampton in the north-east of the Duaringa Geological Sheet area in 1930. A fair-sized body of low-grade gold ore was proved, but values decreased rapidly at shallow depth. The gold is associated with an aplite dyke in Silurian-Devonian volcanics and sediments. None was mined. Gold diggings are present in the Rannes Beds west of Grantleigh Siding in the east of the Duaringa Geological Sheet area. Production figures are not available for that area. There is further scope here for prospecting at a greater depth.

Mount Chalmers

Mount Chalmers is 29.5km by rail north-east of Rockhampton. It was the most important mine in the Cawarral Goldfield located about 6.4km south of Cawarral. The first company formed to work the ore body began operations in 1891, but results were poor and work ceased. The Mount Chalmers Copper Mining Company was formed in 1896, but treated only 432 tons of 5 percent copper ore to 1899, when operations were again abandoned. The Great Fitzroy Gold and Copper Mines Limited began large scale mining of the ore body in 1907. From 1908 to 1914, 9,723 tons of copper were produced. Attempts to reopen the mine after World War I were unsuccessful. However in 1942 and 1943 Mount Morgan Limited produced 313 tons of copper and 1,242 oz of gold from the mine.

Total ore production from the mine is 428,000 tons which yielded 10,059 tons of copper, 51,022 oz of gold and 181,027 oz of silver. The ore body was first described by Dunstan and the most recent description is that of Fisher & Owen. They describe it as the more highly mineralized part of a large mass of silicified rock which had resulted from the metasomatic replacement of sheared andesitic breccia, following the emplacement of dykes of varying compositions, but prior to the intrusion of olivine dolerite dykes and sills. The ore body is a lens, whose major diameters are 150 feet, 400 feet, and 700 feet.

Mineralization appears to have been controlled to some extent by faults, dykes, and changes in rock type. Barite is a common gangue mineral. Secondary enrichment was insignificant. The copper/gold ratio decreased markedly with depth, and there was a rapid decrease in the grade of ore below 300 feet. Reserves were estimated at about half a million tons of ore averaging 2.75 % copper and 2.25 dwt/ton gold, but it was considered that much of this would be difficult to extract.

Reserves of low-grade gold copper sulphide ore still remain in the Mount Chalmers mine, which may be amenable to treatment by modern metallurgical methods. The prospects of the mine, and of the surrounding area, for further production have recently claimed the attention of major mining groups.

At Mount Warminster to the north of Mount Chalmers, disseminated mineralization of chalcopyrite, tenorite, cerussite, cuprite, sphalerite, and other copper ores is present. Little if any ore appears to have been mined.

Cawarral

Cawarral is 32km north-east of Rockhampton. This was the centre where a number of reefs were worked to the sulphide zone. They have long been abandoned. A large amount of gold was previously won from Mount Wheeler a few kilometres away while near Bondoola, 14.5km north of Cawarral small quantities of reef gold have been won.

Alluvial gold was discovered on the spurs of Mount Wheeler, a trachyte plug intruding serpentinite, in 1868. Several nuggets were found, the largest being 247oz. After 1870 several mines were developed on quartz reefs in the serpentinite. The most consistent producer was the Annie Mine situated about 1 mile south of Mount Wheeler, which worked a pyritic quartz reef. Recorded production for the period 1890 to 1908 is 7,441 oz of gold from 6,791 tons of ore, and 860 oz from the tailings. The Galawa Mine located near Mount Wheeler, worked a north-east trending reef in serpentinite. Gold production from 1881 to 1892 was 2,973 oz from 1.342 tons of ore, with 366 oz recovered from tailings from 1897 to 1899.

The Helena Mine worked a quartz reef up to 4 feet wide, which contained veins of sphalerite and galena. Gold production from 1895 to 1907 was 3,225 oz from 7,710 tons of ore, and 2, 230 oz recovered from tailings. The Last Chance Mine produced 3.356 oz of gold from 2, 707 tons of ore between 1891 and 1895, and 779 oz from tailings in 1897. The total recorded production from the Mount Wheeler area between 1881 and 1922 was 26,502 oz of gold from 40,568 tons of ore.

New Zealand Gully

Gold was discovered in New Zealand Gully, 5 miles south of Cawarral, in 1868, and the area was worked for over 30 years. The gold was of very poor grade as it contained a very high percentage of silver. Recorded production from the area is small. The North Star Mine worked a quartz reef up to 1.22m wide in acid crystal tuff. The reef contained some pyrite and galena.

Canoona Goldfield

The Canoona Goldfield is situated 48km north-west of Rockhampton. This was the first gold rush in Queensland where gold was discovered along Bonnie Doon Creek in 1858. Several thousand people rushed to the area, and the gold was rapidly worked out. Approximately 40,000 oz of gold was produced to 1860, but there was very little production thereafter. Few reefs were subsequently found in this area.

It was essentially an alluvial field. It lies within a belt of serpentinite which extends north-westwards to Princhester and Marlborough. In this belt, deposits of chromite, nickel, magnesite and asbestos (including thin veins of chrysotile asbestos) are known, and high-quality chrysoprase is being produced, lateritic cover has been investigated for exploitation of its low nickel content.

Dunstan stated that the Britannia Mine, located just north of Mona Vale Homestead, worked a quartz reef which contained pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite The gold content was reported to be 6 oz/ton, but no production figures are recorded. The Oaks View Mine, located on Oaks View Hill, about 17.6km north of Canoona, was described by Ball. Gold was discovered here in 1903, and mining began in 1904. The gold, which was very irregular in its distribution, occurred in quartz veinlets forming a box-work in a fissure in serpentinite. This fissure was possibly a fault zone. Recorded gold production, including treatment of tailings, to 1912 when operations ceased, was 4,694 oz. Reid described an unusual, gold occurrence in serpentinite, 1.6km south-west of Canoona Railway Station. Here 75 oz of gold were found as slugs up to 10 oz in weight in a fissure in serpentinite. However no further discoveries were reported. Reid also described the Satan workings, 7 miles from Canoona. These were on a white quartz vein containing some patches of pyrite, in fine-grained sediments intruded by andesite and quartz porphyry dykes. However the gold content was very low as very little gold appears to have been produced.

Torilla District

Gold deposits in this area on the Broadsound Peninsula, 64km by road from Kunwarara. Mining commenced in 1935, and initially an attempt was made to treat the ore at the mine using a small mill. After 1937 the ore was sent to Mount Morgan for treatment. Production ceased in 1950. Total production from the mine was 2,143 oz of gold from 1,855 tons of ore. Mines in the area include the Waratah Mine near the Jubilee Mine and the Southern Cross Mine situated in granite about 4 miles south-south-east of Pine Mountain. Production from these mines appears to have been small.

The most important mine was the Jubilee Mine, situated about 1.6km south-west of Pine Mountain. The country rock is muscovite mica-biotite mica-quartz schist intruded by small acid and basic dykes. The gold occurs in small discontinuous quartz / sulphide-bearing lenses in small but rather persistent fissure veins averaging 150mm, but up to 600mm in width, in an east – west trending crushed zone in schist. Below the oxidized gossan the sulphide ore consists of sphalerite, pyrite, and some chalcopyrite. These have been worked for gold to a maximum depth of 37 m.

Ulam Goldfield

Gold was discovered here in 1893, and the field was described by Maitland. Most of the mining was done in a small area 6.4km south of Marmor. Maitland described the country rocks as steeply-dipping slate, shale and limestone having a general north-south strike, and intruded by diorite. Although reefs occurred in both the country rock and the diorite, the best values were obtained from those in the diorite.

The reefs consisted of milky quartz containing some arsenopyrite and pyrite, and in places galena. Pyrite-bearing dykes which cut the reefs were generally associated with the best gold values. The field was worked in numerous claims, but most returns were disappointing. The main producer on the field was the Queenslander Claim, which from 1894 to 1905 produced 1,393 oz of gold.

Stanwell Goldfield

This goldfield was gazetted in 1889, but little information on the field is available. The only mine of any importance appears to have been the Native Cat, which worked a pyritic quartz reef. However production figures are not known.

Gold has also been mined at Westwood to the west of the Stanwell Goldfield. The Westwood Gold Mine was described by Reid (1936). Here sedimentary rocks have been mineralized within the contact zone of a doleritic dyke. The ore consists of arsenopyrite and quartz carrying gold. About 225 tons of ore have yielded between 100 and 150oz of gold. Small amounts of alluvial and reef gold have been obtained from creeks west of Wowan, notably Bottle Tree Creek.

Miscellaneous Goldfields

Gold was discovered at Yatton, 11.2km east-south-east of Croydon homestead, around 1880, and about 5,000 ounces of gold was estimated to have been won by gully-raking before the field was proclaimed in 1386. Recorded production since then has been negligible, and the field was abandoned by 1391. Jack described the field, and referred to ‘dioritic country rock intersected by dykes of silicated felsite’. The gold occurs as flakes associated with quartz, calcite, and siderite in brecciated zones within the diorite.

Gold also occurs in quartz veins cutting volcanics of the Carmila Beds in the Salt Hill area 9 miles north-northeast of Saint Lawrence. The only production recorded is 7 ounces of gold in 1950.

 

EMERALD AREA

As reported in BMR Report Number 68, some alluvial gold has been found in the sapphire wash and also in the present streams. Gravelly and sandy wash below a thin basalt flow at Basalt Hill was once worked for gold.

At Mount Clifford, described by Government geologist, Benjamin Dunstan, and Morton, gold was mined intermittently from 1896 to 1902 and again intermittently for a few years after 1926 but it appears that very little gold has been produced. The gold occurred in hydro-thermally-altered slates caught up in a diorite intrusion and also in veins in the diorite. This area was first worked for silver in lodes associated with bornite, hematite, azurite, and malachite. The oxidized ores are in all cases highly ferruginous

 

CLERMONT GOLDFIELD

Clermont is 369km by rail west of Rockhampton. Gold was first discovered in the Clermont District in 1861 near Peak Downs. The discovery triggered one of Queensland’s major gold rushes, and by 1862 important early producers near the town extended from McDonald's Flat in the south to Hurley’s Lead in the north.

It is the centre of what is essentially an alluvial deep lead field. Apart from deposits in the vicinity of the town, the principal areas are McDonald’s Flat, Black Ridge, The Springs, Miclere and Apsley. The leads have been worked extensively since their discovery in the 1860's. In more recent years the old Miclere deep leads were the main centre of activity. These have been virtually exhausted in the shallower ground, and the field is now almost deserted. Future prospects are bound up with the economics of exploitation of the deeper group below about 60 m. Reef mining on the field has languished since 1901.

From 1878 to 1901 the Clermont Gold Field produced gold valued at £711,000, and in 1904 nearly 6,900 ounces were produced from the Field. After 1904 production declined steadily, but the discovery of new leads on a false bottom at Miclere in 1931 revived the field. According to files of the Geological Survey of Queensland this new find netted 40,000 oz of gold in the ensuing 25 years. Most of the shafts are now filled with water and have been abandoned. The only current production is by fossickers working the old dumps and the Recent alluvium; returns are small.

The gold occurs in four environments: 

(a) quartz reefs in the Anakie Metamorphics; 

(b) Permian alluvial deposits; 

(c) (?)Tertiary alluvial deposits beneath the basalt; 

(d) and Recent alluvial deposits. 

Dunstan in his report of 1902 also records Tertiary leads above the basalt; he also regarded some of the leads at Miclere and Black Ridge as Cretaceous because of their position below a hard siliceous billy, but these leads are probably Tertiary. Dunstan describes over 25 reefs in the area, but reef gold production was subsidiary to that from the deep lead working so for the period 1878 to 1901, reef gold amounted to 9,900 oz. but deep lead production was 175,500 oz. Most of the production since 1877 has come from the Permian deep leads.

Presumably the gold in the deep leads was derived from auriferous quartz reefs in the Anakie Metamorphics, although the quartz reefs now cropping out are mostly barren. Distribution of the gold in the leads in patchy, but appears to be controlled by small faults and quartz veins in the bedrock. These veins are barren, but because of their resistance formed bars across the water-courses and acted as riffles. Small displacements on the faults similarly formed gutters in which gold accumulated. The gold rarely occurs in boulders in the conglomerate, but is mainly in the cementing material. The false bottom at Miclere is probably a Tertiary lead; the conglomerate wash overlies shaly inter-beds and the accumulation is controlled by irregularities in the surface acting as gutters.

The shallower ground of the false bottom has probably been worked out at Miclere, but elsewhere many shafts could not reach the deeper Permian leads because of flooding. Gold probably remains in much of the so-called 'Wet-Ground' around The Springs Lead. Water also caused considerable difficulties at the Deep Creek Lead, the Wild Cat Lead, and Chinaman’s Flat, all being south of Clermont. A re-assessment of many of these diggings in the light of modern pumping equipment may prove worthwhile.  

Current GENERAL PERMISSION AREAS available for gold prospecting with metal detectors can be viewed on the following web-site:

http://www.dme.qld.gov.au/mines/designated_lands.cfm#declared_fossicking_areas

 

 .....    To be continued

Peak Downs Copper Lode

Gold was also reported from the gossan of the Peak Downs Copper Lode at values from 2 to 35 dwt/ton. Since the 1960 field season, unpublished records of mineralization near Fletchers Awl, north-east of Clermont, have been located in the files of the Geological Survey of Queensland. Gold, copper, and silver were mined during 1914-15 from claims about 1½ miles west-south-west of Fletchers Awl. Values were generally low, but assays of gold up to 3 oz to the ton, silver up to 10 oz to the ton, and copper up to 27% were obtained. The country rock is not stated. The geology of this area is complex and consists of gneissic rocks, Devonian-Carboniferous sediments and volcanics, Permian sediments, and Tertiary volcanics. Mineralization is presumed to have occurred in the gneissic rocks which are provisionally assigned to the Anakie Metamorphics. The possibility cannot be overlooked however that the mineralization occurred in the Devonian-Carboniferous volcanics.

 

MACKAY AREA

In the Mackay district there has been some production in recent years from a few small copper mines on the Mount Spencer field and adjoining areas south-west of Eton, and near Bloomsbury .

The most important was the Pinevale Mine, where a battery and concentrating tables were installed. A little gold has been won from mines near Sunnyside and Sarina, and on the Eungella, and Nebo fields. The reefs are mainly small but sometimes carry gold values, while some of the ores are too complex for profitable working. Renewal of interest since 1956 in the Mount Britton area on the Nebo field resulted in productive operations at one of the old mines.

On the Grasstree Field, 10km north-east of Sarina, at the Zelma mine, shoots of higher grade gold ore have been worked to shallow depth within an ill-defined zone of mineralization.

Mt. Coolon

Mount Coolon is 142 km south-west from Collinsville. The Mount Coolon gold mine, for some years one of the State’s major producers, closed in 1939 because of exhaustion of proved reserves.

The area shown within the Mount Coolon Geological Sheet/Map (BMR Report No. 64) has not been an important mineral producer. The only mine of any size is the Mount Coolon gold mine in the north-west, described by Morton. The gold was won from a single lode system contained in a local development of andesites within the Undifferentiated Volcanics. The lode consisted of siliceous rock, developed adjacent to a shear in the andesites away from the shear the siliceous lode graded into silicified andesite. It was apparently an end-product of silicification of the andesite. The lode averaged 7 feet in width and could be traced for half a mile. Gold was bound up with pyrite mineralization and was largely confined to the Siliceous lode. The source of the silicification and mineralization is thought to be a quartz diorite mass which intrudes the andesites and the Anakie Metamorphics to the west.

The lode was discovered in 1913 and was first worked the following year. Operations ceased in February 1939. The total production of gold was about 197,500 oz. Approximately 60,000 oz. of silver were produced after 1930; silver production before 1930 is not recorded.

In 1937-1938, the Aerial, Geological and Geophysical Survey of Northern Australia made a geophysical survey of a small area extending south-east from the Mount Coolon mine. This survey used mainly the potential ratio method to search for siliceous lodes in the andesite country rock. Ten zones of low electrical conductivity, probably representing siliceous lodes, were recognized in an area covered by alluvium. The three most interesting zones were tested, but the results were disappointing. No further testing was recommended because of these disappointing results, and because the zones of low conductivity were short and any ore shoots within them would be even shorter.

Eungella

The Lady Norman mine is a group of shafts and pits south of Eungella, near the eastern edge of the Geological Sheet area. A few parcels of gold ore were won from them in the 1930s but they have been abandoned since. Part of the Mount Flora Gold and Mineral Field lies within the south-east corner of the Mount Coolon area. This field produced small quantities of copper, silver, and gold in the early part of the twentieth century. The mineralization was mainly found in shears or joints in metamorphosed sediments around the Bundarra Granodiorite. The joints are usually at right angles to the granodiorite-sediment contact. They persist into the granodiorite for some distance, but usually are poorly mineralized in the granodiorite.  

PROSERPINE AREA

Gold has been won about Mount Hector, 29km south-west of Proserpine. There are possibilities for further work on the Normanby goldfield, where comparatively little work has been done on the reefs in the sulphide zone.

The most favourable area for possible gold mineralization is the contact of the Urannah Igneous Complex. Many small gold deposits are associated with the Lower Cretaceous Hecate Granite, which crops out 15km west of the northern half of the Geological Sheet area.

The Hecate Granite was formerly mapped as part of the Urannah Igneous Complex, and it occupies a similar structural position on the eastern margin of the batholith as that part of the Urannah Igneous Complex which lies within the Proserpine Sheet area. Isotopic dating as shown that Lower Cretaceous granite occurs near the contact in the area, just east of the Forestry Station, and it is possible that the granite along the whole of the intrusive contact south of the Forestry Station is also Lower Cretaceous. The area is thickly vegetated, and probably has not been thoroughly prospected.

It is worth considering the possibility that economic deposits of derived gold, similar to those now being investigated along the coast of the Burdekin River delta, may have accumulated in the Quaternary littoral sediments derived from the Proserpine and Andromache Rivers. The Andromache River drains the Mount Hector Goldfield and the eastern half of the Normanby Goldfield, and the drainage basin of the Proserpine River includes the rich Dittmer mine and other gold occurrences west. The alluvium of these two rivers, the deltaic deposits of the Bowen-Proserpine Lowland, and the offshore sediments of Repulse Bay are also potentially auriferous. A significant rise in the price of gold would make these environments attractive exploration targets.

Gold and silver were reported to be associated with a basic dyke in the Brandy Creek area, but samples collected by Saint-Smith during an inspection of the prospect contained neither gold nor silver. Morton reported that a supposed gold discovery at Conway Beach consisted of strongly pyritic rhyolite with only a trace of gold and silver.

Duffer Mine, Dittmer

By far the largest gold-producer has been the Duffer Mine, Dittmer, 26km by road west-south-west of Proserpine. This deposit, discovered in 1934, was a rich but small fissure-vein carrying low copper values, which has been worked to an inclined depth of about 213m. Extensions of the vein to both north and south of the Duffer lease have been prospected. The mine closed in 1951 and regular production has not been resumed.

Gold accounts for most of the mineral production in the area as covered in the BMR Report Numbers 100 & 145 and in the accompanying Geological Sheets.

Dittmer Mine

The gold was produced from numerous small mines which had short productive lives, the most important of which was the Dittmer mine near the eastern edge of the Geological Sheet area. A little silver and copper were also won, mainly from the Dittmer mine. The gold and minor base metal mineralization in the north-east appears to be related to the Lower Cretaceous Hecate Granite, and represents the Mackay metallogenic epoch of Webb`.

All the gold mined in the eastern part of the Geological Sheet area was associated with primary base metal sulphides, and many of the mines, notably those at the Normanby Goldfield, were abandoned because the ores were difficult to treat. The area is considered to have some potential for the discovery of small mesothermal gold and base metal deposits.

There are many gold occurrences in the ranges west of Kelsey Creek, including the Dittmer Mine, the most important metalliferous mine in the Geological Sheet area. The ore at the Dittmer Mine was unusually rich, and the total recorded production was about 55,000 oz of gold, 23,000 oz of silver, and 296 tons of copper from 17,000 tons of ore.

The mine is situated at the head of Kelsey Creek, 52km south-south-east of Bowen. Almost all production came from the Duffer vein, which averages 13cm in width and is at least 500m long. The vein strikes south-south-west, and has been worked over a length of about 275m, and to an inclined depth of between 150 and 180m. The country rock is fine-grained silicified, epidotized, and pyritized andesite of the Carmila Beds, with subordinate andesite and dacite breccia. The vein crops out close to a boss of diorite, which is possibly a contaminated cupola of the Hecate Granite. The main contact with the Hecate Granite is less than 1km from the mine.

Production began in 1935. Morton estimated that average recovery to the end of 1944 was 5 oz of gold, 2 oz of silver, and 2.5 % copper per ton. By 1947 the reserves of ore became depleted, and in 1948 the mine closed down. The firm was reorganized into a public company with the aim of milling the remaining lower-grade ore and the accumulated dumps. Production resumed in 1949 and continued to 1951, but the venture proved unprofitable, and the company failed to discover further ore. Operations were abandoned in 1952.

An adit (Young Crusader mine) was driven 235m into the hill immediately north of the Dittmer mine, but the Duffer vein, where intersected by the adit, was found to be barren. Three (3) diorite dykes were intersected by the adit.

The Dittmer ore consists of pyrite and chalcopyrite, with subordinate sphalerite, galena, and bournonite, and a trace of pyrrhotite. The pyrite has been partly replaced by the base metal sulphides. The fractured coarse crystals of pyrite contain thin zones which have been re-cemented by quartz and later sulphides. Most of the chalcopyrite was introduced later, and tends to be aligned parallel to the fracture planes.

Most of the gold occurs as fine grains in the pyrite crystals. The gold content increases in the presence of chalcopyrite, galena, and bournonite. Coarse particles of gold occur only in association with galena and bournonite. Some of the gold was introduced with the pyrite, but some of it was introduced after the pyrite was shattered. In the ‘Lady Denise’ area small gold-bearing veins occur along the faulted contacts between andesite roof pendants and granite 1.5km south of the Dittmer No 1 shaft.

Happy Valley area

Auriferous (gold-bearing) quartz veins in the Carmila Beds were worked in the Happy Valley rea north of Dittmer between 1874 and 1909. The main producers were the Golden Fleece (260 oz). Lamington (about 500 oz), and Commonwealth (about 90 oz). As at Dittmer, chalcopyrite was an important ore mineral. Most of the ore was produced from the oxidized zone, and some alluvial gold was won in the early years of the field.

Silver Wattle Claim

In a report on the Silver Wattle claim on the northwest slopes of Mount Quandong, Ridgway noted that the ore shoots in the Dittmer area commonly occur where veins cut porphyry dykes in andesite. The Rise and Shine (or Loch Neigh) mine was located 1km west of the Dittmer mine, on the western slope of a range of hornfelsed Carmila Beds. The auriferous vein was up to 30 cm wide; in 1939, 20 oz of gold was produced from 12 tons of ore.

Golden Hill Mine

The Golden Hill mine was situated in highly indurated arkosic conglomerate about 7km south-east of the Dittmer mine. The conglomerate is intruded by fine-grained diorite and porphyry dykes. The reef contains pyrite, chalcopyrite, and a little sphalerite. Zimmerman & Branch examined a prospect 400m south of the Dittmer mine, and reported that the granite nearby (Hecate Granite) had an aplitic contact zone rich in pyrite. Gold was round in a vein of green pug in the volcanics, and slugs of gold and molybdenite were found in a gully in the granite close to the contact. Morton inspected some auriferous veins which had been found in the Hecate Granite, 5km south of Proserpine homestead, but no production is recorded.

 

COLLINSVILLE AREA

A mine known as Mount Poole about 20km south-east of Collinsville, is located in altered volcanics and sediments (Lizzie Creek Volcanics) close to the contact with granite and diorite (Ki). The auriferous veins dip to the southwest and northeast at 50° to 90°; one quartz vein occurs in diorite. The veins were rich, but not rich enough to offset the high cost of cartage.  Cribb described a small occurrence of gold 300m east of a graphite deposit about 11km south-south-east of Collinsville.

BOWEN AREA

Normanby Goldfield

The discovery of the Normanby Goldfield resulted in a short-lived gold rush in the 1870s. There was a revival in 1887, and the population reached 300 in 1891, but owing to the inaccessibility of the field, and the absence of facilities for treating sulphide ore, the mines closed down one by one, and all work ceased in 1908.

More auriferous veins were discovered in rugged country east of Grant Creek in 1920. The workings are situated in rugged country in the Clarke Range; Morton accurately described the lie of the land when he wrote ‘The whole surface or the country is very much broken, and for miles in any direction it would be difficult to find one acre of level ground’.

The discovery of the Normanby Goldfield before a successful method of extracting gold from sulphide ore had been developed prompted the Government Geologist, Robert Logan Jack to remark that the field had been discovered too early. The oxidised zone was thin and quickly exhausted, and the dispirited miners left to join the rush to the Palmer River. As early as 1872 some of the mines had been abandoned ‘on account of the mundic difficulty’. In the temporary revival in the 1880s and 1890s attempts were made to reclaim the gold by simple amalgamation, but as the gold occurs as fine particles in the sulphides the method proved to be ineffective. The effectiveness of amalgamation was further reduced by the presence of copper, arsenic, and bismuth.

Morton concludes that ‘All the evidence goes to show that the reefs did not cut out entirely in depth; in many cases they certainly pinched in size’ but ‘in other cases the influx of water at the water level proved too much for the means then in vogue of dealing with it’. Total recorded production to 1906 is about 6,000 oz of reef gold and 2,000 oz of alluvial gold, but the records, especially of alluvial production, are incomplete. Morton recorded a total of 39 producing mines.

Most of the auriferous veins strike north-west to north-north-west, and dip between 60° and 85° to the north-east; there is a subsidiary series of easterly trending veins dipping north at a high angle. The veins were generally from 15 to 30cm wide with bulges up to 1m; the largest was the Albion, which was commonly 2m thick, swelling in places to 3m. The primary minerals were pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and rare sphalerite, arsenopyrite, and bismuthinite.

Bismuthinite at the Grace Darling P.C. contained particles of gold visible under a hand lens.  This mine has the deepest shaft (130m), but few of the other workings on the field went below 30m. The zone of oxidation was thin, averaging less than 15m, and in nearly all cases sulphides were found at the surface. Most of the gold occurred in pyrite of a paler colour than normal. Diorite is the principal host rock, but some of the veins occur in granite both the granite and diorite are intruded by numerous dykes of fine-grained diorite. The coarse diorite grades into hornblende gabbro and hornblendite, and many of the melanocratic varieties, including the dykes, contain disseminated pyrite. Morton noted that the auriferous veins are the youngest component of the complex sequence of intrusions, and that most of the veins have the same trend as the north-westerly to north-north-westerly dykes.

Mount Hector area

The Mount Hector area was the centre of considerable mining activity in the 1930s. Inspections were made by East, Reid, and Ridgway. The Cedar Ridge mine, which was worked between 1932 and 1939 for a total output of 1928 fine oz of gold from 1255 tons of ore, was the largest producer. Most of the auriferous veins occur in the marginal zone of the Urannah Igneous Complex, and are closely associated with andesite and microdiorite dykes. One of the mines (Green Bros) occurs in silicified volcanics (Carmila Beds) near the contact. The veins commonly occupy the same fissures as the dykes. The vein in the Cedar Ridge mine has a footwall of biotite granite (a specimen from the Gumoller mine was found to be a trondhjemite - see Urannah Igneous Complex), and a pyritized andesite dyke forms the hanging wall. The vein strikes east-west and dips at between 250 and 30° to the north. The Gumoller mine is on the same vein as the Cedar Ridge, but was a much smaller producer. At the Tiger Rose mine Ridgway noted that the auriferous vein was displaced by a dyke.

Both the Lady Linden Mine and the Gap Mine are nearer the Normanby mines than the Mount Hector group, but are described in the geologists’ reports on the Mount Hector field. The vein in the Lady Linden mine at the head of Birds Nest Creek is bounded by a porphyry dyke on the footwall side, and by granite. Recorded production is 601 oz of gold from 938 tons of ore.

Marengo Goldfield

The Marengo Gold Field lies 40 km to the south-west of Bowen. Gold was discovered in 1871, but the field did not flourish. The mines were worked sporadically between 1871 and 1879, but Jack found them virtually deserted. Morton inspected the area 42 years later and found that only one new reef (the Brilliant reef), had been opened up. A mild upsurge of mining activity occurred in the mid-1930s, and Reid was hopeful that the more efficient recovery methods used in the newly established battery would pave the way for successful exploitation of the ore-bodies. The Molley and Lorna Doone were the chief producers during this period. The gold-bearing veins contain a small percentage of copper, and the presence of secondary copper minerals in outcrop was used to locate the gold veins. The auriferous veins proved to be too low in grade to sustain mining activity. Total production was probably less than 1000 oz. The Ore Dressing Section of CSIRO reported on the treatment of the ore in 1939.

Several auriferous quartz veins were worked between 1930 and 1935 in the upper reaches of Eden Lassie (Longford) Creek. The mines are in the Hecate Granite, the Carmila Beds, and in faults separating the granite from the Upper Carboniferous diorite suite (Cud). Most of the production came from a south-easterly trending vein system along the faulted contact between the diorite suite and the Hecate Granite. The Golden Gusher, Crazy Cat, Anniversary, and Lady Ellen are close to each other on this vein system. The auriferous quartz vein in the Lady Ellen fills a fault between the diorite and adamellite footwall. Production figures for the Golden Gusher are incomplete. Reid states that one crushing of 38 tons yielded 81 oz of gold, and in 1937 he reported that £400 worth of gold (about 90 oz) was won from a shaft 18m deep, next to the underlie shaft of the Golden Gusher. The gold was accompanied by minor silver and copper.

The geology around the Golden Gusher is complex. Thin roof pendants of recrystallised fine-grained diorite in hornblende-biotite adamellite (a variety of granite) are intruded by numerous dykes of contaminated adamellite. In places the diorite has been converted into gneiss by severe shearing and recrystallization. Both the diorite and adamellite are cut by thin dykes of aplite. The contaminated adamellite dykes are commonly slightly foliated.

The Birthday Gift mine was small, but the ore was rich. Recorded production from 1931 to 1935 is 351 tons of ore yielding 606 oz of gold bullion. The auriferous veins occur in greisenized diorite. The greisen was probably formed during the intrusion of the Hecate Granite to the west of the mine. Much of the diorite has been mylonitized and recrystallized, and has been intruded by dykes of sheared and greisenized aplite. The quartz veins are vuggy, and well formed quartz crystals up to 30 cm long have been observed.

At the Lucky Strike mine, Wyatt observed lenticular auriferous quartz veins between well defined walls in strongly sheared felsite. Production has been negligible. At the Elusive mine on Mount McGuire, quartz veins containing pyrite, free gold, and bismuth telluride cut dark lavas and pyroclastics. Production is believed to have been small.

Isolated occurrences

Levingston described the Armistice prospect, 3km north-west of Mount Dangar. Auriferous quartz veins occur in the sheared margin of a diorite dyke in the Hecate Granite. Only a very small amount of gold was recovered.

Ridgway described the Welcome reef in coarse biotite granite 15km south of Bootooloo siding. A diorite dyke forms the hanging wall, and a silicified quartz-feldspar porphyry dyke the footwall. The reef was followed for a length of 15m.

Morton also described the copper and gold workings 2.5km south-south-east of Mount Gordon.

Reid reported on the Pharlap gold prospect, near the junction of Spring Creek and the Don River, about 10km south-south-east of Pretty Bend homestead. The auriferous (gold-bearing) quartz vein, which is up to 15cm wide hugs a thin diorite dyke. A sample from the widest part of the vein assayed 2 oz 4 dwt per ton. This is probably the prospect previously visited by Morton.

Sellheim Field is approximately 148km south-west of Bowen. The centre is Ukalunda, and the best road access is now from Charters Towers, via Scartwater. Silver, lead and bismuth have been mined, and there has lately been renewal of interest. Mining activities in recent years have been confined to alluvial gold on the old Mount Wyatt Goldfield, where surface gold was traced to a deep lead beneath tableland sandstone at Rutherford’s Table, 13km south-east of Ukalunda.

AYR AREA   -   Overview

There is no recorded production of metals, however, workings in pyritiferous metarhyolite at the eastern end of the Mount Dalrymple range are possibly old gold prospects. Pyrite, or its oxidation products, was reported to be widespread, and traces of gold and silver were reported in part of the workings. Occasional vugs carrying lead carbonates with an appreciable silver content and traces of bismuthinite accompanying pyrite were reported from elsewhere in the workings. A sample from one of the shafts assayed 1 dwt 14 grains of gold and 60 dwt of silver. Morton concluded that the low values encountered did not justify further prospecting. However, he stressed the large extent of the greisen, and the possibility of economic mineralization at depth cannot be entirely discounted.

Reid River

Reid River (65km by rail south of Townsville … and south-west of Ayr ). Although small amounts of gold, both alluvial and reef, are found in the foothills of the Hervey Range and near Mount Success and Far Fanning (19km and 50km, respectively, north-west of Mingela). At Mount Success, a few small veins of rich gold-bearing ore have been worked to a depth of 90m. There are several large bodies of low grade on which very little work has been done. Investigation by a large mining company of the old Mount Success mine, abandoned in 1906, indicates that gold values are irregularly distributed in small erratic shoots and that prospects for resumption of mining are not bright.

A small group of deposits at Far Fanning occur in old sedimentary rocks and have been worked periodically to shallow depths. There is still scope for prospecting. but the area is handicapped by absence of water supply. Gold, alluvial and reef, was worked in the early days a few miles north-west of the old Argentine township.

Star River Goldfield

This Gold field takes in a large area bounded on the west by the Burdekin River, on the east by the coast range and on the north by the Coane Range. Much of the area is isolated and rough and has received little attention. Copper, tin, wolfram and gold are known to have been worked in the past, the last notably at Piccadilly. Low gold values were detected in several thin quartz veins in faulted and steeply dipping altered shale and sandstone. The sediments are intruded by a swarm of thin diorite dykes, and granite crops out 150m to the south of the veins.

Burdekin River

Alluvial gold has been discovered from the bed of the Burdekin River at the Falls, but production was small. The main obstacle to successful mining is the presence of large boulders and the highly irregular shape of the bedrock.

Mount Wyatt Goldfield

There is a group or gold prospects near the head of Millaroo Creek, known locally as Lionel Diggings, but no production has been recorded. The Mount Wyatt goldfield was one of the earliest known fields in Queensland. The presence of alluvial gold was known in 1868 and was reported on by Daintree. The metalliferous deposits are found in granite or in the metamorphosed sediments around the margins of the intrusions. Small silver and copper lodes are also known in the goldfield but are uneconomic.

Mines in the goldfield included the Southern Cross, Golden Ridge, Big Hope, Middle Camp, Top of the Hill, and Big Lode. The Southern Cross mine was the largest. It was opened in 1893 and a battery was erected the following year. Average recovery was reported to be 10.7 dwt per ton, but the reef pinched out, and within a few months the mine closed down. The other mines produced only negligible quantities of gold.

Rutherfords Table is a mesa of Tertiary Suttor Formation overlying granite. The auriferous river gravels occur at the base of the Suttor Formation, in a depression in the granite basement. The gold occurs as small rounded flakes and scales, and as wire gold. The grains range from microscopic size up to 2mm in diameter; fragments up to half a pennyweight have been recorded. Rounding and pitting of the grains suggest they have travelled a considerable distance. Total production during the past 10 years is about 900 oz.

Ukalunda Goldfield

Bismuth, arsenic, and gold ores are contained in fissures in granite of the Ukalunda district. The Daisy Bismuth mine, the Walhalla workings, and the Carrington workings are located on fissure lodes. The Daisy is 3.2km north-east of Ukalunda, and the other two are respectively half a mile south and half a mile east of the Daisy. The almost vertical Daisy fissure was worked over a length of 620 feet and contained two ore-shoots. 250 feet apart. The mine produced ores of gold, copper, silver, and bismuth in 1889 and 1890. The sulphides include chalcopyrite, pyrite, and bismuthinite, quartz and siderite are the main gangue minerals. Morton (1945b) considers that sulphide ores containing high aggregate values of gold, copper, silver, and bismuth remain in the ground.

The Walhalla workings were opened in 1893, but no production was recorded. In 1936 - 1938 a shaft was sunk to 125 feet and some ore was sold for its gold content. The work indicated the existence of further gold-bismuth ore, but the ore is complex and successful operation is dependent on the ability to treat the ore locally and recover both the gold and bismuth. Arsenic-gold ore was mined at the Salopia workings 1½ miles south-east of Ukalunda. The auriferous arsenopyrite occurs sparingly in small quartz veins and as minor disseminations in highly altered Ukalunda Beds close to their contact with an intrusive granite.

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