PROSPECTING IN WEST AUSTRALIA
I have decided to write this page after numerous enquiries about how to go about organizing a prospecting trip in WA.
It is not difficult .
Firstly, due mainly to liability, I do not do prospecting tours.
Please do not expect me to give out information on the best places to prospect on salt lakes. I can only give you general advice on where to prospect. In fact, do not expect anyone to tell you where his or her best patches are! However, do not be put off by this, as it is often the complete amateur that stumbles on the best patches!
There are still plenty of places a person can prospect legally for gold in WA. All you need to do is first obtain a Miners Right ($20) available over the counter in any Mines Dept (e.g. In Coolgardie or Kalgoorlie or Leonora).
A 4WD vehicle is recommended but not essential. A 4WD will allow you more freedom to get off the beaten track but there are many good places to prospect close to towns and highways for which a 4WD is not essential.
If you are coming from overseas on a short trip then I recommend hiring a vehicle. For a long trip it may be better to buy a secondhand vehicle and sell it before you return home.
Basic mechanical skills and spares are of course essential if you plan to
prospect off the beaten track.
Carrying an UHF radio and an EPERB is recommended. Mobile phones can also be handy.
Detectors Any of the SD or GP Minelab machines are recommended and to start with it may be advisable to purchase a secondhand machine. If you are not familiar with the SD or GP detectors you should keep accessories to a minimum as far too often I see people investing in numerous coils and paraphernalia which they never use. This can be expensive. Extra coils etc. can always be purchased once you are out here.
Maps can be bought in Kalgoorlie and I do recommend a GPS.
If you are looking to join up with other prospectors or find a prospecting
companion then I suggest you go straight to Leonora or Laverton caravan parks and you are
sure to bump into others like yourself. If you go to a popular prospecting area such as
The Specking Patch or Murrin Murrin at Leonora you will meet many hobby prospectors,
especially April to October.
I do not recommend trying to prospect in WA from December to March, which is too hot with temperatures averaging in the 30s and 40s. During winter June to August it can be very cold at night with frosts and it can rain for days. This does not seem to deter most visitors to the goldfields!
In summer the rain is more likely in thunderstorms and can be very heavy.
If you read this and can help others by adding some information (even your own experience) or advice to this page please email me and I will include it here.