The Goldfinger Boulder Opal mine is located approximately 60 kms north west of Eromanga on the northern part of the Eromanga opal field which is also known as the Kyabra opal field.
The mine is situated in a small valley between 2 hills or mesas within the Coleman range.
It was mined extensively during the 1960’s and produced boulder opal of exceptional colour and quality. The entire valley was mined out and the mining lease subsequently surrendered by the original miner.
During the 1980’s, I visited the old mine site a number of times and was always able to find some opal in the mullock (noun: in Australasia – refuse or rubbish, as rock or earth, from a mine) and so, I decided to take up a new mining lease over the area with the idea of processing the mullock and hopefully finding opal that had been lost or missed by the original miner.
By 1990 I had applied for, and was granted, 7 mining leases on the Kyabra/Yeppara opal fields. At the time I was Exploration and Mining manager for a large boulder opal mining company. In 1991 we moved our equipment onto the site – a Caterpillar D8 bulldozer and a 30 tonne excavator and commenced operations.
Try as we might, we never found even one single solitary piece of opal and so, decided to give it up and move on. The following day I went to Quilpie some 150 kms away to provision and while there, decided to phone someone that I had recently met in Sydney. The American lady to whom I had been introduced by a mutual friend is a gifted psychic and had been helping me with my exploration and mining for boulder opal. Now I had always approached exploration and mining in a scientific way, and still do, but I was open to the possibility of there being other ways. And this is what the lady simply said to me: “Keep digging and when you see the parrots, you will find beautiful opal.”
The next day I informed our dozer operator that we were going to give it one last try. I was driving the excavator. While working in the centre of the old mine we suddenly found that there was small section of virgin (unmined) ground. We cleared away the mullock and commenced mining there.
After several hours we stopped for lunch and while sitting in the shade of the machinery at the work site, several Mulga parrots landed on the ground in front of us and commenced dancing around. They flew off after several minutes and we resumed mining.
Not long after we came onto the opal level and there found several boulders which contained some of the most beautiful opal that I have seen, certainly among the best that I have ever mined. I subsequently called the cut stones the “Parrot Collection” and following are images of some of the opals which we found.
Click on any one of the above images to see a larger version.