THE LAND OF GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES !
It was recently publicly reported that:
"Queensland currently has 11 fossicking areas, 9 designated fossicking lands, and 21 General Permission Areas (GPA's) for fossicking - totaling more than 20,000 hectares"
In reality, 20,000 Hectares is only 0.01% of the total land area of Queensland.
Western Australia is nearly 50% larger in area than Queensland. However in W.A., there is nearly 10,000 % MORE (i.e. 100 TIMES MORE) land area available (via "Pending ground") for fossicking/prospecting for someone who holds a W.A. Miners Right. This equates to about 1% of the total land area of W.A. In total, about one-quarter of the land area of W.A. is generally under Title re: tenements for exploration, mining, prospecting, etc. So, there is generally far more ground available in W.A. to lawfully hunt gold, than in most of the other States.
It's no wonder that so many thousands of people have been/continue to go to W.A. annually to hunt gold, especially during the winter months. These people also spend significant amounts of time and money in W.A.
It is also no wonder then why so many large gold nuggets have been detected in W.A. in recent years - no doubt, also due in part to the excellent (World-Patented) technologies incorporated within Minelab detectors.
It is also great for detectorists/prospectors to have the choice of any of Minelab’s extensive range of eighteen (18) different models of detectors that are currently on the market – the biggest range of detectors Minelab has ever had in its nearly 40 years of operations.
In terms of commercial production of gold, Western Australia produces nearly 70% of the annual national total of gold production (Qld only produces about 5%).
The reality in Qld is that the cost of a 'Fossicking Licence' (at a considerable expense of about $60 for an individual EVERY YEAR) is by far the most expensive of any State in Australia (in W.A. it only costs about $30 FOR LIFE !). Some States DO NOT require a licence or Miner's Right to fossick/prospect.
In Victoria a Miner's Right only costs about $30 and is valid for 10 years. In Victoria recreational prospecting is permitted under a Miner's Right across most of the state’s 3.1 Million hectares of state forests as well as other public lands. This equates to about 10% of the total land area of Victoria. The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates there may be as much as 75 Million ounces of undiscovered gold in northern Victoria – almost as much gold as has been discovered across the entire state since 1851.
In order to increase regional and remote tourism in Queensland, and in particular, encourage more recreational activities, including for families (e.g. bush exploration, camping and prospecting/metal detecting), perhaps the Qld Govt. should seriously consider designating far more new areas of land (i.e. in excess of an additional 100,000 Hectares), preferably within known gold-bearing regions, for recreational prospecting by holders of a Qld Fossicking Licence.
Over the past two centuries, many State Governments, and towns too, have been saved from financial ruin via the discovery of goldfields, and the subsequent, many benefits of exploration, prospecting and mining.
In 1866, nearly a decade after its formation, the Australian colony of Queensland was experiencing a recession, exacerbated by a prolonged drought. Queensland was on the edge of bankruptcy. The discovery of significant amounts of gold near Gympie saved Queensland from financial ruin.
With respect to Western Australia - Gold’s value had increased significantly, and between 1886 and 1900, 88% of W.A.’s export income was attributed to gold.
The gold industry in W.A. survived the challenges of the First World War, which saw mining activity and investment decline. However, the Great Depression in the 1930's brought revitalisation to the gold industry with a rise in the gold price and an increase in foreign investment.
It was the discovery of the largest-recorded gold nugget in Western Australia (1,136 Ounces = 35KG) , the ‘Golden Eagle’ (in a hole in the road in Coolgardie in 1931) that created a national interest and saw many prospectors return to W.A.
As the saying goes, "history often repeats itself", and likewise, the discoveries of significant gold nuggets will continue.
The 23.2Kg "Ausrox" nugget - discovered in W.A. in 2010
In recent decades there have been several large nuggets found in Western Australia - that have not been publicised - and such nuggets have either been hidden in safe storage or sold and/or melted down.
In recent decades there have also been many gold patches found in Western Australia, many in remote areas, producing up to hundreds of nuggets totaling tens-of-kilograms of gold, that have also not been publicised.
Over the past four decades, many different Minelab detectors have been used in the detection of such large gold nuggets & specimens within our awesome continent of Australia !
Based on my research, and also my gold prospecting experiences, I suspect there remains hundreds-of-Millions of ounces (i.e. THOUSANDS OF TONNES) of gold yet to be discovered in Western Australia.
From about 1980 until about 2005 the price of gold was roughly around AU$500 per ounce (31 grams). Over the past 17 years the price of gold has increased significantly (about SIX FOLD) to about AU$3,000 per ounce. This is a great incentive for people to get out there and hunt gold !