Opal Mine. This is a mine at Opalton
Opal Mine at Opalton. Is old fashion mining, well it is how they do it, they can go days, months with out finding any colour.
Opalton is the start of Opal country in North Central Qld. We Have been back to Opalton now three times.
We go there so many times. Maybe because of the colour that is in the rocks/stones we find. Love the Boulder Matrix stones. the patterns of the wood stone look with the colours of the rainbow . Mining Lease do not cost much. Get the holes drilled cost a bit. Something we most likely look in to later. Just love the isolation, the quietness. There is phone coverage, a couple of the locals have land line. TV and internet. No Mobil phone coverage.
There is a fossicking area for people to look through.
Where is Opalton. Well the town of Opalton is !20Kls from Winton in Central Queensland. The road is quite good, it is dirt so it pays to not go really fast, enjoy the country side. The first thing you come to is a sign that says
Opalton, pretty good sign. Driving on you come to a road with buildings on the left. Kept driving and you will see a sign bush van park. that is where you will camp while looking for Opals. It has a toilet and shower for your use, cost in may 2016 was $2.50 per person. At the side of the park there is a area to fossick in.
What do you need. Well if you do not have a long range fuel tank like us , It pays to take extra fuel with you. Last visit we just made it back to Winton on the one tank of fuel. We have been back to Opalton three time now and we have not even seen half of the things to do, places to go down in that country.
You have to take everything with you, water, food ect. There is a lot of flies, so take a tent with a fly net, so you can sit somewhere with out flies. Just a hint it you don’t take a tent, sit in a dark shady place normal the flies don’t like that. Take that fly net or buy a cream from the chemist called, Nature’s Botanical it is Natural Rosemary and Cedarwood Oils in a cream. Yes it does work.
Fossicking For Opals.
You will need a spray bottle with water. Water shows you the colour in the stone.
A container to carry you stones in.
Fossickers pick. Normal the opal are just on the surface. Now and then you might want to break a rock open.
Piece of paper to wrap your good colours in.
Below are 2 rocks I picked up You might not be able to see much colour.This is what I find and I cut them when I get home. I don’t break them with my fossicking pick. Sometimes I get some thing, and a lot of the time I get nothing. The rocks just crumble under the saw blade.
Cut and Polish Opal.
It you have not got and equipment of your own to cut and polish stones, all you have to do is join you local lapidary club, they have the equipment. But watch out because some clubs do not let you do opal because it makes to much mess. Opal is sandstone or ironstones and is very messy. When I am shaping stones with Opal in them , I have a bucket of water just to wash the dirt/mud of the stone. When cutting them I have a apron on just to save my clothes from the red and black Mud.
After you have cut your stone, you need to shape your stone. to do this you can use your eye or get some sticker shape or draw a shape. I put wet and dry sand paper on my wheel, I have a wheel base that I paint with a special glue to stick the sand paper on the wheel, it peels off to change sand papers. Starting at 600 grit and then 1200 grit and last 2000 grit to get my polish.
Opals are so simple to do but take a lot of time to clean up.
If you need help or want to ask some thing , leave a comment in the box and I will get bac to you.
Have a great day.