Gympie region a geologists’ dream location
THE Gympie region and areas to the west are famed for gold deposits and it is said there is more alluvial and reef gold still to to be mined than has been taken so far.
This area is not just rich in gold but a whole range of other minerals as the recent articles concerning manganese indicate.
In most cases mineral deposits are rich but only small. Most have been mined commercially, but mainly by individuals or small companies.
Manganese mining has taken place for well over a century, with a peak in the Second World War period.
Many properties have small deposits of red and black rocky areas usually on slopes and these have proven a problem when attempting to grow crops.
It is not just the large number of rocks, but manganese restricts a plant's ability to utilise iron from the soil and treatment to lower the pH is necessary.
The long list of minerals found in the area was used by geology students who had a yearly camp during which time students had to collect a list of specimens.
After about a decade this was stopped when it was realised that maps were distributed by earlier students identifying what could be found and where.
Rich deposits of both malachite (green) and azurite (blue) copper ore were mined and processed near Kilkivan until about three decades ago, also extracting mica from the serpentine rock.
The chimneys near the town were used as smelters, while the original method was to dig long tunnels into a hillside then tunnel upwards, creating an excellent draught for the smelting fire.
A town with more than 1000 people and a two-storey hotel were working there before Nash came to Gympie.
A short list of other minerals mined includes antimony, to the east of Gympie, silver and lead at Mt Victor and Widgee, cinnabar (mercury) at the so-named locality outside Kilkivan and there is even a deposit of the semi-precious amethyst at Oakview.
The area has been described as a geologist's idea of heaven.