prospecting in WA

Submitted: Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 03:13
ThreadID: 77274 Views:7526 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Hi - for all who are interested in spending some time grubbing about in the red dirt of the WA outback, a few tips from a rank amateur.

1. Do some research. We relied mostly on the advice given by the guy in the Prospector's Patch, most of which was erroneous or self-serving. He sold us a book on prospecting in the Kalgoorlie area which was last updated in 1966 (not useful), told us that the mining registrar would be open on the weekend (it was not, and we lost some valuable days). Which brings us to...

2. Get your miner's right before you go. A miner's right is your ticket to prospecting legally on the crown land - you still have to find out where mining tenements are already claimed, notify the pastoralists of your intent to prospect on their station (where applicable), but first, you need your miner's right. There are mining registrars in several parts of WA, and you can get this sorted out so you can hit the ground running. Since they only cost $25 and are good for life, and the penalty for not having one can be up to 100,000 AUD, it's worth the small investment.

3. If you're heading out from Perth, don't rent in town. You will spend 2 days of driving, so why pay rental on your metal detectors for that time? In Kalgoorlie, the folks at Finder's Keepers were very pleasant and helpful when we discovered that we had been rented equipment (from the unhelpful Prospector's Patch in Perth) that didn't have a battery (not so useful). Which brings us to...

4. Check your equipment before you go. This means that you should verify that you have all the parts to the metal detectors (count the cords, make sure you have batteries, headphones, etc.), but also some other vital equipment that they will happily gouge you for at the rental shop, but is cheaper somewhere else. This includes:

Pickshovel - our very basic pick was massively overpriced at the Patch at about $80 (available at Bunnings for under $50)
Magnet - for sorting out the nails from the nuggets. They wanted $22 for a 1" diameter flat magnet.
Fly nets - to keep from having involuntary protein supplementation in the outback.

Maps and any books - if you know the region to which you are heading, you can either get detailed maps from the mining registrar for a small printing fee, or visit the department of mines website.

5. Have fun, but do not expect to get rich overnight. Although it does happen, most people do not find the big nugget on their first outing. Some people spend weeks and months looking before getting their first taste, so relax and enjoy the other artifacts that you will find, your time in the bush, and your safe travels through a unique part of the world.

Above all, if somebody tells you exactly where the big nuggets are, you can almost guarantee that you should be looking anywhere else. And if you find a bit yourself, just let me know where that was...
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Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 09:23

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 09:23
Thanks for taking the time to pass on your thoughts.

As one who is about to start the hunt your suggestions were helpful.

AnswerID: 410856

Reply By: Sillydad (WA) - Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 10:36

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 10:36
We're heading off on our first prospecting trip in a few months - the guys at Reeds Prospecting in Midland have been very helpful so far...

Reeds Prospecting Supplies
AnswerID: 410868

Follow Up By: gowild - Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 14:19

Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 14:19
Thanks for that info - I will definitely talk to Reeds instead of the other guys for the next trip.

Good luck on your prospecting!
FollowupID: 681089

Reply By: Member - Brian (WA) - Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 12:04

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 12:04
Gowild. You think that you will be told where to get gold.
You might be told certain area's that have been gone over and over.
If you want a short cut to finding some and get tips on how to use equipment
join a Tag-a-long. Bit pricey Brian
AnswerID: 410880

Reply By: Goldfind (Dunsborough) - Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 19:33

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 19:33

You should also be aware that all areas of the West Australian goldfields is under lease. To be able to prospect you must have permission to go on the lease and then it is usual for you to contact the pastoral station on which you intend to prospect and let them know where you are camped and the duration of your stay. If all this is too much trouble then join a detecting club and go along on their annual camps to leases where permission is arranged for you.

Regards goldfine
AnswerID: 410935

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 21:18

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 21:18
And what about the pending leases ?.
FollowupID: 680985

Follow Up By: Goldfind (Dunsborough) - Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 21:24

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 21:24
Yes David, Pending leases can be prospected and you still must let the owner of the pastoral station know where and when. It will take some amount of research to find the pendings

FollowupID: 680987

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 23:01

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 at 23:01

Pending tenements can be found easily by going to the DMP - Data and Software Centre and downloading the Current Tenement (live and pending) KMZ file (or other formats that suit you).

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then open in Google Earth

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and if you want select tenements of interest for display in OziExplorer (et al)...

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Tenements in any area (live and pending) can change on a daily basis so this needs to be kept in mind.


I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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FollowupID: 681007

Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 07:41

Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 07:41
you could always do what I found a couple of guys doing
and just have a crack hoping you dont get seen. they were actually detecting on the KCGM superpit mining lease

we ended up putting a satelite pit where they were and a prospector was brough in to prospect the waste sections of the pit as it was being dug.

he killed the pig - no one knows for sure how much he got but I watched him and all he was doing was waving the dector and pulling out nuggets it funded a small loader eventually and he was kind of sub let mining the pit getting small stringers

KCGM had not a clue how to mine or define small scale and it was to his prifit
FollowupID: 681036

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