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Kurnalpi Goldfield, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 32' 20'' South , 122° 14' 45'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.53889,122.24583
GeoHash:G#: qdwfmb8dn
Locality type:Ore Field
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

Gold was discovered here by Alex Slater and party in 1894, 95 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie. The goldfield produced incredibly rich alluvial gold in its initial years and was known as the 'home of slugs' referring to the large slug shaped gold nuggets lying around all over the ground.

Normally the gold mineralisation would be expected to increase with depth, but this did not occur at Kurnalpi. By 1900 it was noted that the alluvial gold had pettered out and people began drifting away. A 1902 correspondent stated:'with the exception of a few unimportant shows, worked by small parties of men, the place has little to recommend itself to public notice. Once the initial goldrush was over, the place fell silent. Evidence of human life is confined to a few struggling pathetic gold hunters whose vocation is with them as a disease'.

As such the area has a large number of shallow historic workings of various names which include but not restricted to: Richies, Kug, Success, Brilliant, Scottish Lass, Dazzle, Sparkle, Discovery Hill. Modern mining companies have named Halfway Hill, Colour Dam Pit, and Kurnalpi South as locations, apparently not discouraged by the lack of historic underground gold.

The area was explored in the 1970's by Amax Exploration (Australia) Inc, Aquitaine Australia Minerals Pty Ltd, Esso Exploration and Production Australia Inc. Further exploration has been conducted in the early 2000's by Carrick Gold and Fairstar Resources.

Regionally the geology is a lower basaltitic unit, overlain by Komatiite, followed by an upper basalt unit, then a sequence of felsic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, overlain by clastic sedimentary rocks. The volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks have been altered to quartz-sericite-carbonate-pyrite in association with quartz-sulphide vein arrays developed within the shear zones. Minor copper, lead and zinc has been found.

What is rarer than gold in a desert? newspapers reported snow falling at Kurnalpi early in October 1900.

The area is mostly scattered bulldozed shallow scrapes from modern prospectors and exploration companies. Mainly north of the Kanowna-Kurnalpi road, with a few exceptions. About nine of these were counted, (some relatively extensive) anywhere from one to ten kilometres from the road. Only two sections were identified as retaining significant historic workings, being in the edge of a large area of scrapings at the far northern end, and another line of old shafts a short distance south of the road.

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12 valid minerals.

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Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
The Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1902): Kurnalpi (25 Dec 1902)
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1900): Kurnalpi (25 Dec 1900)
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1900): Kurnalpi (04 Oct 1900)

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