California Gold Rush and Bathurst Essay

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Pages: 5

History of Australian Mining

A study into the history of mining in the region of Bathurst

Written For
Chris Daly
Unit Coordinator
MINE1010

Written By

University of New South Wales

August 2013 Table of contents
1. Introduction
3
2. Mining in Bathurst
4
2.1 Discovery of gold
4
2.2 Mining Method
4
2.3 The impact of mining
5
2.4 Miners in Bathurst
5
2.5 Mines in Bathurst
5
3 Reference
6

1. Introduction

The purpose of this report is to present a study of the impact of mining in the early history of Australia, in particular, the impact of mining in the area of Bathurst, New South Wales (NSW).

Minerals have been a part of Australian land since the first appearance of man. The mining of these minerals undoubtedly began with the Aboriginal Australians. They used minerals as colour paints in the ancient rock art. Aboriginals also searched for stones, which were appropriate to use as tools and weaponry.

The extraction of minerals in great quantities started in the early days of European settlement in Australia. In 1788, just ten years after the arrival of the first fleet, coal was discovered in New South Wales and Newcastle. The first metal, lead, was mined in Australia in 1841, followed by silver and copper. By 1850, the exports of lead and copper from South Australia (SA) valued more the exports of wool and wheat.

The first known discovery of Gold in Australia was by an inspector named James McBrien in February 1823. It was recorded to take place in a fish river, near Bathurst, New South Wales (NSW). Later in 1839 more fragments of gold inside quartz were also noticed in the Bathurst region.

This report will expand on the history of mining in the region of Bathurst, the impact mining had on the region and Australia is a whole. As mentioned before, Bathurst was the first region in Australia where the discovery of gold was confirmed. As a result of the discovery, soon the gold rush occurred. To cater for the ever-increasing number of citizens who came to the area by the lure of gold, momentous buildings were built, from hotels to bank, schools and churches. The rush transformed Bathurst from a small town to a major regional center.

2. Mining in Bathurst

Bathurst is located in central tablelands of New South Wales, approximately 200 kilometers from Sydney. The region was originally settled in 1815, it was the first inland settlement west of the Blue Mountains. The settlement expanded in this region by the 1850s due to the success of the wool industry.

The region of Bathurst is often referred to as the “gold country” as it was the first site of the discovery of gold in the country. James McBrien made the first recorded discovery of gold in 1823, in an inlet near Bathurst, later on in 1839 silicate and quartz were found to have fragments of gold inside them, also in the Bathurst region

2.1 Discovery of gold

The reported discovery of gold bought Edward Hammond Hargraves to the Bathurst region. Hargraves returned to Australia from the Californian gold rush. In February 1851 Hargraves and his fellow surveyor, John Lister set out to a journey to Lewis Ponds Creek. Here he used tin dishes to wash sand and gravel, al but one of the dishes yielded a grain of gold.

In March 1851, a month after the discovery, Hargraves wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald, publically announcing the discovery of payable gold in the Bathurst region. Following the discovery people began to immigrate to the area searching for gold. A month later, further discovery of gold was made in Victoria and by the end of the year fifty percent of the male population of the surrounding colonies was at the digging, the Australian gold rush had begun

2.2 Mining Method

The main method used to mine gold in the 1850’s was tin-dish washing or otherwise known as panning and the rocking-box method.

Panning is a simple extraction method where gravel in gathered into a pan and is then agitated with water, which forces the gold…