Deep Lead Mining In Victoria

McCarthy P L,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
A distinctive feature of the goldfields of Victoria was the extrac- tion of gold from deep leads, that is the buried river beds of Vic- toria's ancient rivers and streams. It is estimated that about 265,000 kg of gold was produced from Victoria's deep lead mines which comprises about 11.5% of Victoria's total production of gold (Bowen, 1974). The significance of deep lead mining for Victoria, however, went far beyond its economic contribution to Victoria. If Profes- sor Blainey is correct it was the frustrations of mining gold from deep alluvial leads in Ballarat during 1854 which precipitated the Eureka Stockade (Blainey, 1963, 46-52). This event resulted in the implementation of a fair mining administration and was an emphatic statement of the rise of democratic movements in Australia. Much of the technology and skill for mining deep leads had to be developed locally because at that time no other major gold- field elsewhere in Australia or the world had gold deposits with comparable problems. Deep lead mining in Victoria was there- fore largely a home grown industry and the equipment for that industry was often designed and produced in Victoria.
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