collapse

Author Topic: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations  (Read 17875 times)

ChrisH

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« on: June 15, 2015, 01:41:49 PM »
G'day All

I am chasing some advice for fossicking around the Sapphire - Rubyvale - Anakie area in Central Queensland.

I am new to fossicking; only giving it a go for the first time last week.  I spent 3 days digging at Sapphire without much luck, a few small zircons and some pretty small sapphires.

Does anyone have some advice of where would be a good spot to try around that area, I have a week off soon and would like to give it another go.

I have the maps of the public fossicking areas from the DNRM, but many of the areas seem to be heavily worked or, as was the case of the spot I was in last week, unproductive.

I would be appreciative of any advice on which of the public areas are worth having a go in or any other areas somebody may know of.

Cheers

Chris

Lefty

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 981
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 03:56:56 PM »
Gday Chris.

I have chased sapphires in the Rubyvale area since I was a kid and they are a prime example of what defines a precious stone - they are bloody hard to find and really good ones even harder!

I've never done much good hand fossicking there. Much better success was had when we had our first claims at Russian gully just behind Rubyvale - we pulled some nice stone out of that but we were using jackhammer, trommel and pulsator and so moving decent volumes of dirt. Such machinery is not allowed for fossickers, you're restricted to hand tools.

There is a lot of ground on the field and many spots i have never been too. There is shallow wash at "Jurassic Park" at the far end of Reward, just behind the Washpool. Also shallow stuff at Glenalva. I've never gotten much out of either myself, couple of reasonable little cutters. But I have seen a few stonking stones pulled out of the same spots. A former poster on this forum found a good 60-carat blue at Jurassic Park - that is a good sized stone! A bloke I know found a 91 carat yellow-green just up the track from there.

So they are definately there but there is usually a lot of dirt in between them. Luck is the biggest part of it.

ChrisH

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 04:59:52 PM »
Thanks Lefty

I will have a look at those areas.

I have heard of some nice stones being found at Glenalva too

Cheers

Chris

Bluey Zarzoff

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 676
  • Experience you get - just after you needed it
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 11:46:23 AM »
Hi.

This is a link to info on fossicking in CQ. There are also links to fossicking maps of the areas.

Hope they help.
I started out with nothing
And still have most of it left.

-----------------------------------
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

ChrisH

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 02:28:25 PM »
Thanks Bluey

Unfortunately I can't see the link you posted.  I don't think it has worked.

Could you please try again?

Cheers

Chris

Dig-in

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 03:26:19 PM »
Hi ChrisH,
 The designated fossicking areas cover a lot of ground. A lot of this ground has been worked over to some extent. But I think there is still a lot of sapphires out there waiting for the lucky fossicker to pick them up.
I have been fossicking at CQ area  for the last 5 or so years during school holiday breaks when we can get away. Although we have not found anything spectacular we have certainly found some cutters & lots of bits & pieces. We generally keep anything that looks like it might sapphire or zircon etc . I generally prefer the Tomahawk creek area these days. I did get a 95ct green/yellow last time but it is poor quality even though you can see thru it there is cracks & bubbles all thru. Still I am happy to find such a large piece & it could have just as easily been a good stone so we keep our hopes up.
All the DF areas are worth looking at. When I first started I would just look around areas that looked like they have had work done recently. Usually if there are still people digging they will pass on a bit of local info. All info helps.  Have a look at what sort of ground people are digging in for that particular spot. But be careful if you think that someone may still be digging in that spot as nobody is happy about someone else picking the eyes out of there spot. The usual etiquette is if you see a bucket or digging gear left in a hole then someone is still working there so keep clear of that spot.
As Lefty says as a fossicker we can only do so much as we do not have access to mechanical digging or sorting equipment so generally we are only looking in the upper layers of dirt & gravel although you can go to 2m deep if you have enough time & energy.
You need to locate the layer of gravel which may hold sapphires. Some of these areas will have gravel just under the surface & some may be much deeper, Some areas will have multiple layers of gravel so what might look like it has been already done has another layer 500mm below. Mostly I would be looking in areas that others have worked initially.
 It is sometimes hard to tell if you are digging in old tailings from previous diggings which have been recovered by dirt. If I find a mixture of larger stones with the gravel then I would say that it has not been dug before because normally the larger stones are removed prior to sieving & don't end up remixed with the sieved gravel. Of course if you start getting sapphires that would be an even better sign.
There is a lot of Qld mixed up with the stones but it is fun separating them.
If you like to keep near the townships a good place to start is the Mt Clifford area thru the fence at Graves Hill. The wash is shallow there if you can find a fresh area. At this time of year I would expect to find a few others in that area who might give you a few tips. Some of the grey nomads are there for months .
If you are there on a Sunday don't miss out on the markets at Sapphire. Lots of cut & uncut stones there for sale by the locals & some other market stuff which you might find useful. There will also be lots of people with maybe some local info.
I picked up a video doco made by a couple of Swiss guys at the CQ gemfields a few years back & have watched it many times. It does give you an idea of the area & what to look for. It is called ' The Call Of The Sapphire'. I also watch it when I would like to be out there but can't. You might find that interesting if you see it. I think you will only pick it up at shops/market at gemfields.
Anyhow good luck with your trip & don't expect to get a lot of good sapphires every time you dig but I would not discourage you from hoping for that.
 beers
Brett

ChrisH

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 04:10:36 PM »
Thanks very much Brett

A lot of good info there, much appreciated and I will keep it all in mind when I am scouting out a spot.

Haha, You're right about the digging, it limits what you can do. 
I am a mining engineer and an UG handheld miner by trade so I couldn't help myself to look for ways to mechanically mine the area.  But a pick and shovel it is.

I will pass on photos/info if I find anything

Cheers and thanks again

Chris

Bluey Zarzoff

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 676
  • Experience you get - just after you needed it
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2015, 12:55:07 AM »
Sorry mate. Here it is.

As has been previously stated, there is a lot of area to consider, areas that have been worked over before.

This is at least a start.

https://www.qld.gov.au/recreation/activities/fossicking/central-qld/
I started out with nothing
And still have most of it left.

-----------------------------------
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Gem Ranger

  • ALF'er Platinum
  • *
  • Posts: 268
    • View Profile
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 01:57:32 AM »
Hi Chris,

About 10 years ago I was working out west and had the opportunity to fossick the CQ gemfields. I really didn't know what the place was about so I looked and found a tour guide that could give me the info I needed. I was recommended a guy 'at the top of the hill' at Rubyvale ... Crystal something or other .... anyhow I'm pretty sure it was here -23.426173, 147.695142. They can supply gear and will take groups to the designated areas. For the price of $20 it was a quick way of learning how to effectively dig for sapphires. Their trommel and Willoughby certainly helped speed up the processing. I did about 5 trips with them and found several cutters but missed out on a large 20 cent sized light blue sapphire found in the hole I was digging but a week later. On my return 6 months later I bought a Willoughby, Lean-to and the rest of the gear and headed to Tomahawk Creek. I dug there several weekends and found about $1k worth of sapphire rough plus a nice large star sapphire about the size of a 10 cent piece but good quality.
Anyhow I tell you this because was with anything in life its about learning a process and then putting it into action - do it well and you'll generally get the rewards.

Have fun,

Cheers,
GR

Lefty

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 981
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2015, 04:27:01 AM »
A couple of members of our club regularly spend up to a fortnight at Tomahawk creek and often do ok. When you have a fortnight as opposed to a few days you can move a bit of dirt. Tomahawk creek is a bit of a secluded area about 35km out in the bush from Rubyvale. I've only been there once, never dug there.


Here are some famous stones from the CQ field to whet your appetite :)  I used to look at the Tomahawk tiger when I was a kid, it was on display at what is now the Rubyvale gem gallery. The owner of a stone dubbed the "Dam Lucky" stone showed it to me a couple of years ago - an absolutely magnificent 107 carat colour change stone, light green in one direction, orange in another and pink in artificial light. Photos were on the web but seem to have been taken down for some reason.


And my father found this one at Russian gully (which is now a general fossicking area but the wash he found this in is around 2 metres deep).


[size=78%]


So don't get the impression that I'm saying it isn't worth having a go :)  Stones like these ones are even rarer of course but the more dirt you go out there and move, the better your chances of finding at least something.[/size]

ChrisH

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 07:01:53 AM »
Thanks Bluey.

GR, that's a good point you make, I was considering going out on a tour for the first day I am there, just to get a bit more knowledge and experience.  Then I will find a spot and have a go. I have access to a good Trommel and I will hire a Willoughby.

Lefty, they are all beautiful stones.  I may get lucky, if not it's still better than being at work.

Cheers Gents

Chris

Dig-in

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2015, 10:03:28 AM »
Hi Lefty,
 That is a lovely blue stone that your Dad had found   Droo, We would all wish to find something as beautiful as that. Just a bit more fuel for the fire. Thanks for the photo.

Lefty

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 981
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2015, 10:19:52 AM »
Hi Dig-in - he's actually been trying to find somebody to carve it. 155 carats and fairly flat, it would be an ideal carving subject. He wanted Ned Kelly in the helmet with a pair of crossed revolvers. Still haven't found anyone to do it yet.

Dig-in

  • ALF'er Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2015, 10:40:30 AM »
That would be a great subject. Ned Kelly is always going to be an Aussie favourite. I hope he is able to find someone who could do something like that 1 day.
 I have not seen much carving of sapphires other than Star sapphires. I would imagine it would be quite a task & risky also.

mangomick

  • ALF'er Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 205
    • View Profile
Re: Central Queensland Fossicking Locations
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2015, 11:46:41 AM »
Got back from 3 weeks at CQ gemfields then home for a few days to drop off a bit of gear then headed up to Obriens creek for a few days before heading down to Flat Creek Station for a few days trying my hand at Gold detecting then down to Agate creek for a few dayschasing agates then home. Didn't do Chudliegh Park as we were on a tight time schedule
Photo of a few of the better sapphires we dug and the Topaz we managed to dig in two days. All the Gold we found can be seen at the top of the photo with the Topaz.:-)

Dig -in , Forgot to mention that some of those sapphires came from that hole at the top of the gully that we were both working.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 11:50:19 AM by mangomick »

Tags:
 

* Sponsor

HTML Online Editor Sample

ALF is hosted by Aussie Sapphire as a free service to the Lapidary community.

Visit our website here
Phone 1800 50 21 40
Or find us on Facebook

Recent Activities

POLL: Where is the high spot on your faceting machine? by Shifter55
[October 13, 2019, 03:41:58 PM]


Testing testing by Faceting Frank
[October 13, 2019, 02:11:38 PM]


Polishing zircon by Faceting Frank
[October 09, 2019, 11:04:21 PM]


MB concave build by FlashGP
[October 09, 2019, 12:08:45 AM]


Places to find radioactive rocks? by darttrev68
[October 06, 2019, 02:29:07 PM]


Help in identifying lapidary equipment by MakkyBrown
[October 03, 2019, 05:20:52 PM]


Rhodonite by kanecats
[October 02, 2019, 03:41:25 AM]


Wanted - Thunder eggs from different locations by ZipZip
[September 30, 2019, 07:15:15 AM]


Hi everyone by Faceting Frank
[September 26, 2019, 09:41:05 PM]


AFG 2020 Faceting competition by FlashGP
[September 25, 2019, 10:08:45 PM]


Trying to locate a pendulum trim saw. by Jimnyjerry
[September 22, 2019, 08:38:26 AM]


Can anyone id this facet head? by Jimnyjerry
[September 18, 2019, 09:11:12 AM]

* Calendar

October 2019
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 [15] 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 31
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Find us on Facebook

* Forum Stats

  • stats Total Members: 4121
  • stats Total Posts: 55009
  • stats Total Topics: 5866
  • stats Total Categories: 6
  • stats Total Boards: 27
  • stats Most Online: 224