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Floater Mine (Gilbert Gold Mine), Ravensthorpe, Ravensthorpe Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 33' 4'' South , 120° 2' 12'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -33.55113,120.03674
GeoHash:G#: qdj35s0n6
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:Csb : Warm-summer Mediterranean climate

The original gold discovery in the district was at Cocanarup by the Dunn Brothers in 1899. The Floater Reef was next to be discovered shortly after, further east by Kingsmill, Craig, Stephenson and party.

They started mining but abandoned the mine after a year as they did not have the resources to make it profitable. During this period the reef was worked to 24 metres deep, the reef was 1.5 metres wide, and contained coarse gold.

The Gilbert Gold Mining Company took over the lease. In November 1901, the mine manager was J.B. Neale, followed by P.E. Kean. In 1901 it employed forty men. One hundred tonnes of machinery for a ten head battery was shipped from Fremantle. W.J. Littlejohn was responsible for overseeing its erection. Installed was a ten head Frasers and Chambers mill with Wilfley concentrators, a steam winding plant, with water pumped from the Anna Bell Mine 3 kilometres to the south-west. Later two dams were built at the mine. In 1903, an electric lighting plant was installed.

On 26 January 1904. W.J. Littlejohn was made mine manager. The mine temporarily closed in 1904. It appears operational again in 1905. It had the deepest shaft in the district at 107 metres. Here a hard rock bar with no gold was hit. They managed to by-pass this and go down another 9 metres. Rock drills and a compressor plant were now at the mine.

The ore was described as containing tellurides, not dis-similar to the Golden Mile mines at Kalgoorlie.

By 1907, the plant was also processing copper, but the plant and mine closed this year due to low copper prices. While Floater only had a small percentage of copper to gold, this was not the case with many of the mines in the district. Many had used the Floater battery, and as these mines closed, it placed economic strain on the Floater operations.

The battery restarted in 1909, but to only process ore from other mines in the district. Only prospecting work was being undertaken at the Floater Mine, and little mining had taken place over the prior 4 years. Shortly after the battery closed, and the site remained silent for 23 years.

During this intial mining period, the mine obtained 10 000oz of gold from 12 000 tonnes of ore processed.

The Floater Gold Mining Company was ....well floated in London in 1935, however the Southern Progress Company who had options in the mine ran the operations. On November 10 that year a new ten head battery began being installed. The mine had sprung back to life on the back of high gold prices. However there appears to have been an emphasis again on operating the battery for other mines in the area. They were Bulldog, Ellendale, Bridgetown, Jubilee and numerous individual prospectors working the old small gold mines. A cyanide plant was installed to reprocess the sand and slime from the Floater Mine, from the original mining period for gold they missed. The plant had to close a number of times due to lack of water.

The last report of the battery operating was in 1940. One source states in 1947, the mine/battery was closed 'years before'.

The shaft is next to Floater Road, north of the historic Cattlin Creek workings, and about 7 kilometres north of Ravensthorpe. It is on the left side of the road, and surrounded by an ugly barbed-wire fence, to stop the drunk, the foolish, or maybe both from falling in. Nothing remains at the battery site 500 metres south of here other than the stone walls of the mine manager's house.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

8 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 911752
andesite 74245

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Meta-andesite, locally porphyritic; mafic to intermediate tuff, agglomerate, and volcaniclastic rocks, dacite

Comments: igneous intermediate volcanic; igneous volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous intermediate volcanic; igneous volcanic

Reference: Raymond, O.L., Liu, S., Gallagher, R., Zhang, W., Highet, L.M. Surface Geology of Australia 1:1 million scale dataset 2012 edition. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia). [5]

Neoarchean - Mesoarchean
2500 - 3200 Ma

ID: 3189638
Archean crystalline metamorphic rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Amphibolite/granulite grade orthogneiss

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1900) The Phillips River District-Report by Assistant Government Geologist (16 Jul 1900).
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1947) Our Forgotten South (17 Apr 1947).
Albany Advertiser newspaper (1901) The Phillips River Field (29 Nov 1901).
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1905) The Minister for Mines at Ravensthorpe (07 Mar 1905).
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1933) Phillips River Field-a Copper-Gold District, Early History, and Production (01 Dec 1933).
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1938) Work on the Floater Mine (07 Jan 1938).
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1901) Phillips River (25 Jan 1901).
The Mirror newspaper (Perth) (10 Aug 1935) New Company-Floater Gold Mine Registered (10 Aug 1935).
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1936) Floater Mine-Ravensthorpe (27 Feb 1936).
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1905) Mining Notes (15 Jun 1905).
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1935) Ravensthorpe Operations (10 Oct 1935).
Kalgoorlie Western Miner newspaper (1904) Ravensthorpe Mining (09 Feb 1904).

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