The Gold Industry Group were recently treated to the ultimate road trip through the Goldfields by Mandy and Chuck from the Goldfields Tourism Network WA.
The 300 km long photo shoot included several hidden gems and key stopping points on the Golden Quest Discovery Trail – an epic adventure through the heart of the region.
In 1911, a newly-wed Aboriginal couple found gold in Far North Queensland. The woman became a miner and made history, when she found a new goldfield located near the Batavia River.
Aboriginal people mined the land for ochre and stone long before the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour. As the European gold rushes spread across the country, some Aboriginal people became prospectors too.
After the gold rush at Fly Flat in 1892, Coolgardie in Western Australia, grew into a bush settlement of red earth, tents and humpies. The lure of striking it rich drove gold diggers and prospectors further afield to search for the next big discovery of gold.
Ninety miles north-east of Coolgardie, the country was marked by a chain of salt lakes. The Gimlet gum trees made a roaring sound when the south-westerly winds blew strong.
In 1892, Coolgardie grew into a booming town after prospectors Arthur Bayley and William Ford discovered a rich find of gold nuggets at Fly Flat. Prospectors, gold diggers, mining companies and speculators then followed the gold rush during the roaring nineties in Western Australia.
The Gold Industry Group has released results from a study conducted by Deloitte Access Economics into the gold industry, revealing its significant contribution to Australia’s history, economic development and social advancement.
“From the 1850s, the demand for gold has helped grow, sustain and define Australia,” said Deloitte Access Economics Partner Matt Judkins.
Gold has retained a hallowed place in the history of the Australian resources sector and beyond for generations, and its central part in Western Australia’s past is both colourful and fascinating.
However, the story is far from over, and the importance of this rarest of precious metals in today’s economy can be seen with more than 70% of the nation’s overall gold production coming from WA. If WA was a country, it would be the 5th largest gold producer in the world.
“Fly Flat” doesn’t sound like a prestigious or auspicious name for a place that started a gold rush boom. But on the outskirts of Coolgardie in Western Australia, the flat country with sparse gum trees was rich with alluvial gold, and changed the fortunes of a nation.
In 1892, two prospectors, Arthur Bayley and William Ford found over five hundred ounces of gold at Fly Flat. At today’s gold price, the horde would be valued at over half a million dollars.
From its renowned precious metals refinery to its modern manufacturing facilities, through to its range of gold coins and bars, and innovative precious metals investment offerings – The Perth Mint has evolved from its humble yet industrious beginnings into a dynamic enterprise which embraces the global gold market.
As Australia’s only remaining, fully operating ‘gold rush’ mint of the 1800s, The Perth Mint’s grand colonial building continues to guard the wealth of operations and gold exhibits, which each play a role in adding value to, and promoting, gold worldwide.