Sample of auriferous quartz from Kalgoorlie, WA

To my untrained eye, this small piece of quartz from Kalgoorlie, WA, is just that -- a scrap of quartz. But, as you can see in this photo, if you examine it under a strong light with a hand magnifier you can see countless tiny flecks of gold. It is in fact, by today's standards, a very rich piece of ore. The last I heard, ore had to have 1 gm/tonne to be payable. This corresponds, roughly, to a piece of gold the size of a pea for every cubic metre of rock crushed. In fact the mine owners prefer not to get ore as rich as this sample because, if the workers can see the gold, they will nick it.

The sample is about 18mm by 35mm.

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2017

Sample of gold bearing quartz from Kalgoorlie, WA