Today was an adventure into the outback to see Potsie’s gold processing plant. We all headed out of Kal about 60k to Potsie’s lease at Mount Monger.
Potsie’s dad got this lease area back in the 1970’s and have been working it since then but now processes the gold for other people.
Potsie got Di and Jen right into work mode underneath the crusher doing some housework which they gladly participated in. We wanted to get ourselves down and dirty.
Potsie being the tour guide and explaining how the gold is processed through the plant which is quite hands on and involved.
Fras meantime went off and did some exploring whilst Al grabbed the trail bike and went boundary riding.
We did a little panning for gold the way it was originally done and if you look to the left of the dirt you can see the gold. There is a reason why they call this part of Western Australia the Goldfields. Potsie walked about 20 meters from where the process plant was and put his small hand shovel into the top soil about three inches and this is the gold out of that dirt!
One might hope Fras didn’t get his water from this tin! Cyanide is used in the leaching process of gold and is a by product but it breaks down very quickly when it is exposed to the ultra violet of the sun. Cyanide comes from salt so is organic and when it breaks back down it is inert.
It was then up to the crib room for a bite to eat. This is an ATCO hut (or donga as they are called out here) and Potsie went and attached a sea container to the outside of it and removed the walls to make a verandah. If you look closely you can see how he uses the doors of the container to either let the wind blow along the veranda or close it off to protect from sun or rain. He is quite the maestro at invention.
It was then back to work with Jen and Al on the forklifts and then Fras having a go.
Di was dead keen to get in there with them but decided she didn’t want to complicate the rib situation with a punctured lung so she just gave lots of useless directions.
There has been an underground operation on the lease but at present it is all boarded off as there is a collapse of the shaft and Potsie has other projects that take up his time. He and his dad use to work the mine though.
After all becoming thoroughly covered in red dirt and helping Potsie somewhat we headed back into town to clean up and get ready for dinner with Potsie’s his mum and sister. Fraser took the opportunity whilst everyone was scrubbing the grime off them to have a walk around the center of Kal and take some more photos.
The pubs were built in the boom times and as you can see, no expense was spared.
Post office but now the court house.
Town Hall where Fras had his graduation ceremony back in 1984. Built 1908 when Kal was awash with money.
This is a header for an old underground working and they have dressed it up for Remembrance Day with the flow of poppies.
Hannan Street which is the main drag and take note as to how wide it is. Two lanes each side plus enough room to angle park cars each side. The purpose for this width was so that the camel trains could turn around in the Main Street.
The city was founded in 1989 by the amalgamation of the towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder, which developed in 1893 during the Coolgardie gold rush, on Western Australia’s “Golden Mile”.
In the winter of 1893, prospectors Patrick (Paddy) Hannan, Tom Flanagan, and Dan Shea were travelling to Mount Youle when one of their horses cast a shoe. During the halt in their journey, the men noticed signs of gold in the area around the foot of what is now the Mount Charlotte gold mine, located on a small hill north of the current city, and decided to stay and investigate. On 17 June 1893, Hannan filed a Reward Claim, leading to hundreds of men swarming to the area in search of gold, and Kalgoorlie, originally called Hannan’s Find, was born.
The population of the town was 2,018 (1,516 males and 502 females) in 1898.
The mining of gold, along with other metals such as nickel, has been a major industry in Kalgoorlie ever since, and today employs about one-quarter of Kalgoorlie’s workforce and generates a significant proportion of its income. The concentrated area of large gold mines surrounding the original Hannan’s find is often referred to as the Golden Mile, and was sometimes referred to as the world’s richest square mile of earth.
It is a town rich in history and gold mining stories.
We made our way to dinner and had a great evening with Potsie’s family and listening to his mum Ruth recite the tales of a different era.