New Farm Park, Brisbane

Friday, October 28, 2011

KALGOORLIE GOLD

We had travelled 600k west of Perth and reached the goldfields of  Kalgoorlie on the edge of the huge inland desert.

 After Paddy Hannan found gold in 1893 and filed a claim another gold rush was on and Kalgoorlie came into being. Gold and nickel have been mined here ever since. The concentrated area of gold mines is known as the Golden Mile and is considered the richest square mile of earth on the planet.
 More recently a number of mining leases were bought and the Super Pit made. It is 3.6k/2.2m long, 1.6k/1m wide and 512m/1,680ft deep. Can you see the trucks way down at the bottom?

 Work goes on 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. I zoomed in to the bottom of the pit where the trucks look little but they are huge and carry 225 tons of rock. It takes 45 mins for the round trip to the top and back.
 This is one huge truck.

 We were taken on a tour of an old mine. We donned hard hats and crammed into a small cage and descended into the bowels of the earth. 

 We only went to the third level down out of 32 levels. 

 The miners squeezed into small crevices to follow the veins of gold ore. We saw their primitive tools and heard stories of many young deaths due to dust inhalation.

 Bill taking video. You can see his short one minute dramatic video on his blog here.

 After a very informative tour and an eye opening lesson on how miners used to work, we squeezed into the cage which only holds 5 people and returned to the surface.

 We were invited into the gold room where we were given a demonstration of how the ore is melted and poured into an ingot mould.

Then it was passed around for us to hold.......... and wish we could take it home.

(NB for Colin. We were so busy underground that I didn't get any good pictures of the wonderful old buildings or the many brothels in town)

22 comments:

  1. Ooooooooooooh I am shattered!
    My dear Diane - history! Not everything went on underground in Kalgoorlie.
    The place is incredible isn't it?
    Those trucks are just so huge.
    I believe that the drivers of such get big bucks.
    I guess there will be a part 2 of Kalgoorlie showing the "city sights"???
    Well done.

    Cheers
    "Mr.Hagpins of Albion"

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  2. Hi Diane, what a neat place to visit. The first shot is neat, I like the layers of colors. It reminds me of a rock quarry. Too bad you couldn't take a golden rock home with you. Have a great weekend.

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  3. I love the first shot ... the textures, colours and rock cuttings.

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  4. Colin when I was in WA last year, I went on a guided tour of a bordello along with about 10 other people from our tour. We were given very precise information as to what goes on behind closed doors, and those that were closed were to stay closed. Lucky for us, we had a 'gentleman' from NZ who asked all the questions that we were afraid to ask, which the Madam duly answered in full. I had passed this info onto Diane and Bill so there was no need for them to visit this attraction.

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  5. Interesting story, to work underground looks terrible to me.The first photo looks great, all the colours are beautiful. Couldn't you take a teeny weeny piece of gold with you, lying on the floor somewhere?

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  6. Wow! That makes the 150m mine I visited at Cobar look TINY!!! Can't wait to visit WA - your photos and stories are inspiring!!

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  7. Col: Did you know that most of the truck drivers are women?

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  8. that is one GIANT truck. the tires are taller than my head. glad the man is there for perspective. i can tell you were way up high in the first one. no thanks to the tunnels, i do not go under ground at all

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  9. Wow ! this landscape is terrific ! Very impressive ! So they stell extract gold from this mine ! My goodness what a awful hard job that must have been 100 years ago ! I once visited a coal mine where 250 miners were killed here in Belgium.

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  10. Fantastic article and pictures.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  11. Oh good, I managed to find a bit of space here. Enjoyed this post. I had a go a driving one of those monster trucks. It was easier than it looks.

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  12. Uh, not sure but I think you have spam, possibly the boycott american woman comment. Anyway, I saw this on BB's blog and I was fascinated, I think I did a similar tour when I was a child. Loved that photo looking down into it what all the deep orange and red, lovely.

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  13. Yes Dianne ( Above) - I saw the "Boycott" thing - I am sure it is a "Spam", have e-mailed Bill and Diane - it was a bit early for phone calls - 5.30am!
    Colin (HB)

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  14. wow, diane,
    the first two photos are really stunning. but i like all of them.

    that is a fantastic place to visit.
    i'm stunned by the scenery.

    have a great weekend!

    betty

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  15. Imagine holding that big slab of pure gold - wow! The top pic with the rich colourings is beautiful - it's amazing to think we have all this wealth right here in our own country.

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  16. Fascinating stuff Diane. The richest square mile of earth on the planet - wow! Did they really trust Bill with that gold ingot? I guess they weren't aware of his recent run-in with the Los Angeles police--- ;0)

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  17. The first shot is incredible!
    I'm not sure I'd like going so far underground, but what a wonderful adventure.
    Shame on them for not letting you take a sample home. :)

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  18. Thanks for sharing this fascinating place with us. The Super Pit is amazing; thanks for the close-up of the truck to give us some idea of the size of the pit. The old gold mine was interesting as well. It's too bad you couldn't keep one little sample from it.

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  19. This was so interesting! My grandfathers were coal miners in Pennsylvania and I visited the mines they worked in (no longer functioning) a few years ago for a tour. It was a very hard life...no hopes of gold for them! My maternal grand father actually died in a mine cave in when my Mom was an infant.

    The gold you held must have been worth so much $$$!

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  20. That picture of the open cut just emphasises for me, that our country is simply a hole in the ground! The conditions endured by the earlier miners were intolerable, I suspect. I did not realise that the trucks were mainly driven by women. Power-steering I hope ...

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  21. Oh my gosh -- amazing and scary. Here i am trying to catch up on blogs I already read (road trip, limited time and all that) and I followed your link to (your) Bill's terrific slide show and got lost in his blog for a while. You two make a good pair and i'm glad I went to his -- between the two posts it feels like I've been to this amazing place..

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