Busy, busy day around Kal and close surrounds. First order of the day after a beautifully cooked breakfast courtesy of Jen and Al we headed to the look out point of the super pit.
Originally there were many small underground gold operations spread out along the famous Golden Mile of Kalgoorlie and Boldre. Roughly 20-30 years ago the big boys came in and amalgamated the smaller operations and then ripped the top off and now the area is one massive super pit.
This is a shot from the look out. In the center of the photo you can see what is a massive rock fall which occurred back in April this year which has resulted in a large lay off of employees whilst they work out how to deal with the issue.
KCGM is one of the largest gold mines in Australia, producing around 700,000 ounces each year (around 20,000 kilograms). For every 1 million tonnes of ore extracted from the Super Pit, there are between 250 and 300 kilograms of gold, with over 85 million tonnes of ore and waste rock removed each year. This equates to 1 in 7 trucks carrying a golf ball size quantity of gold (about 0.5 kilograms).
KCGM stands for Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines which is half owned by Newmont (American) and Barrick (Canadian) – go figure.
We then headed off to Boulder which is a town right next to Kal and you cannot tell when you go from one to the other. Our purpose for this excursion was to go to the monthly markets and see Pottsie play in the Goldfields Brass Band.
How unique is this. You see lots of rotundas in parks nowadays but you rarely seem them being used except maybe for the odd wedding.
The band has played in Western Australia State championships and come first a number of occasions in their division. It is a real commitment for Pottsie as they play at a number of various functions.
We wandered over to the little train museum on the other side of the park to have a squiz and learn some of the very interesting history of the place. In the hey day around the early 1900’s, they use to have 61 trains stopping at the Boulder railway station. It was a thriving center and had a reputation for being a bit rough around the edges.
Then to the Goldfields Museum where we went into the vaults to see some rather luscious examples of gold that was securely behind triple paned glass. Caught the lift up the old Ivanhoe shaft head frame to get a good view over Kal. It must have been a big job to move it to it’s new position in the museum.
After a yummy healthy lunch it was out of town to the very, very famous KalgoorlieTwo-up ring.
Yeap, this is it – just a bunch or corrugated iron strung together to form a circle.
Remember how a few blogs ago we said that Aussies would bet on two flies crawling up a wall. Well this gambling game is all about betting on two coins being thrown up in the air and seeing if it is heads or tails. The minimum bet was $50 – we did not participate but interesting to watch.
Pottsie had a go at tossing the coins but his luck didn’t stick. It is only open on Sundays from 2.00pm to sunset and doesn’t look very busy in the ring as we had arrived just as it had got started. It gets very crowded and there is a great deal of money that gets splashed around. They earn crazy big money up here. As an example, a truck driver on the mine pulls in $180,000 a year!!!!
It was then down the road to the Broad Arrow Tavern which is a place that blew Di’s mind, that’s for sure.
As you can see, it is very basic but once you get inside the graffiti is amazing. Maybe graffiti is the wrong word. You are encouraged to grab a pen and write on the walls wherever in the pub. The lewd stuff is still reserved for the ablution block!!
It looked rough and was pretty rough. There was a Great Dane behind the bar who shouldn’t have been there and they scooted it out. Later that night when we were having dinner with friends of Jen and Al’s they showed us a photo of the Great Dane with his front paws on the bar – hmmm.
After all that tripping around and very hearty dinner with great company, we were all pretty exhausted. What has been going in our favour is that it has not been very hot whilst we have been here. In the height of summer the heat can just be so oppressive here.