An Old Prospector’s Gold


By Albert Miles

Living in Kalgoorlie during the early 1950s my track to school was over an extensive area of dryblowing dumps not far from where Paddy Hannan picked up his first couple of nuggets. While negotiating these dumps on my bike it was not unusual to find a few old time prospectors still patiently digging dirt and shaking it through their dryblowers. These fellows were always happy to stop for a spell and show us their small gold nuggets which were usually kept in small medicine bottles or pill bottles. I don’t recall any of them ever finding any good sized slug but they usually collected enough for tucker money.

Last year, with a few mates, I was swinging a detector on the outer fringes of an area of rather deep, old dryblowings a few kilometres from Larkinville, where the famous Golden Eagle nugget was discovered in 1931. Mines Department reports about the area indicated it hadn’t been a field of widespread small gold but had been limited to a few rich patches. This didn’t discourage more than 1,000 hopeful diggers rushing out and turning over large areas of ground for a mainly nil return.

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