Victoria’s Londonderry diggings are still worth a look
By Jim Foster
In an effort to encourage men to prospect for new finds to provide employment for miners, the government of Victoria in the late 1850s provided money to certain prospecting parties. One such party, led by Robert Ellison, was surveying the area north of Moyston when they struck payable gold at Londonderry (Jallukar). In what looked like an example of insider trading on the goldfields, it was claimed some miners at Avoca and Lamplough knew of the find before it was made public but when questioned about this, Ellison said he wanted to be sure the strike was a genuine one and would not prove to be another duffer.
The Mount Ararat Advertiser reporter claimed that the country ‘has all the indications of a highly auriferous locality. For miles around, the country is quite new and there is abundance of opportunity for prospecting and room for 5,000 or 10,000 people.’
The rumours spread and the news that several sinkings had bottomed on gold-bearing rock, encouraged miners to flock to the field.