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The indicators of the Daylesford Goldmines, Victoria


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Author W H Vale


THIS field is situated principally upon the western slope of the main divide, with an altitude of from 1,500 to 2,000 feet, and was known in the early fifties as Jim Crow. Even in those days it was noted for the richness of its alluvial and the timber that clothed its gullies and slopes. In most of the gullies and spurs below and around the town the schists have been denuded of the volcanic covering, and the lode formations, which are regular in their strike. and numerous, run parallel across some of the richest gullies, the surfacing carrying right up to and exposing the lodes. But, as occurred elsewhere, the earlier discoverers wanted their gold without any quartz, and, lacking knowledge of its value, they paid very little attention to the reefs, consequently it was some little time later before they recognized their worth. In the earlier efforts of the quartz miner, these deposits were worked in what we now consider exceedingly primitive fashions, and as they were left then, so they still in many instances remain practically untouched. Most of the effort of later years has been confined to these old workings where touched at all, and this in the hope that these pioneers left stone that would not pay then under the high cost of living and the practically prohibitive tariff of the custom batteries, but which would pay now under the reduced wages, cost, and the present highly-improved methods of extraction. These ores are amenable to the roughest battery treatment, the sands remaining being worthless as far as any chemical treatment is concerned, so that where flotations were made and the above practice followed very little remunerative result was obtained, and they died out one after the other.