Karratha is the commercial hub of a thriving and diverse primary resource industry, located in the heart of the Pilbara some 1,500km north of Perth, Western Australia. During the past decade, investment and major development has transformed the once sleepy outback town to the logistic and commercial capital of the north-west. Karratha is a town full of energy and life, which runs every minute of the day.
Karratha also holds a few secrets. Underneath all the supercharged economic activity is a little-publicised pursuit that only the locals and people-in-the-know are keen to involve themselves in – the hunt for gold.
Reports of gold finds in the region date back to the mid-1870s but for one reason or another, they attracted little attention at the time. As with the early discoveries, gold finds by electronic prospectors were largely kept a secret. The area was not all that well known for its alluvial gold, so local prospectors were generally free to carry on with their activities without much outside interference.
Since the discovery of gold 13 kilometres outside of Karratha in 2008, the town is once again in the spotlight. Unfortunately for hobbyists, there is very little information available on gold localities in the area and not surprisingly, locals are reluctant to share their secrets. As more and more people try their hand at gold prospecting, finding suitable alluvial ground is becoming increasingly more difficult. So where does someone start?
Prospecting the Murchison author, Paul von Zorich, has just released his latest book, Karratha Gold listing all the well-known, as well as some not-so-well-known, alluvial patches around the Karratha–Roebourne region. This, however, is not just another map book. It is the culmination of two seasons of research and field work. The author’s purpose was to deliver concise, accurate and up-to-date information on the gold localities in the region.