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Light of Israel Gold Mine (Lights of Israel), Davyhurst, Davyhurst Goldfield, Menzies Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 1' 48'' South , 120° 39' 54'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.0299808208, 120.66505243


The mine is 2 kilometres east north-east of the Davyhurst townsite. The Great Ophir pit borders it to the west. Despite the Light of Israel being presently a large abandoned open pit and underground decline, the mine had a rather inauspicious start.

It was discovered around 1906 by John Stout and Charles Wainwright. Local folklore at the time states the mine name was somehow poking fun at Herman Mandelstamm, the rotund Jewish owner of the neighbouring Great Ophir mine. The Mandelstamm family were active in a number of gold mines in the Eastern Goldfields. It is doubtful the reasoning for the name would be allowed in Australia today.

Stout and Wainwright sank a 40 foot shaft, then extracted 100 tonnes of ore, creating a cavern at the bottom of the shaft. In 1907, they attempted to float a company, promoted by Kalgoorlie mining engineer, William Manners. There was some criticism, the mine had yet to prove its worth. This was vehemently denied by Manners, suggesting a few bottles of whiskey given out to its critics would solve the problem. The float was unsuccessful. Stout and Wainwright continued mining to a small degree but soon abandoned the lease. GML 858U. 18 acres.

George Cassidy took over in 1909, with the intention of re-opening the mine. Some small crushings were taken out, but the focus was mainly on public crushing at the new Huntingdon mill Cassidy had erected. By 1913, he declared he was ceasing mining at the location, excessive water charges by the Mines Department were to blame Cassidy claimed.

In 1912, 250 pounds of slimes was stolen from the zinc boxes at the mill. Charles Mitchell was arrested at Goongarrie shortly after with the boxes in his possession.

By 1911, the mine had only produced 731 ounces of gold from 3062 tonnes of ore.

The mine was active to a limited degree in the early 1930's, subsidised by the government, probably as a response to the Great Depression.

GML 1102U. Ronald James O'Brien controlled the lease in the late 1940's, with exemptions, late rent payments and little in the way of crushings.

Modern exploration began with drilling in 1987, then an open pit destroyed the old workings from 1988 to 1989 and a second period 1993 to 1994. 1.65 Mt was produced at 2.79 g/t, and from an underground decline 1.6 Mt at 4.5 g/t which was active until 2004. A company called Aberfoyle was involved with the 1990's mining period, before the grounds were acquired by 1996 by Consolidated Gold. Activity after this was combined with entities owning most or all of the goldfield, as noted under the Davyhurst Goldfield sub-heading.

Historically, in 1907, the deposit was described as two lodes. An east-west lode consisting of a series of stratified and laminated quartose schists, partly kaolinised and intermixed with clay and hornblende schist, and small veins of limonite and hematite ironstone. The whole was very decomposed. There was also a north-south lode of finely laminated quartz embedded in a lode of decomposed hornblende schist. This description is for the upper levels, from limited development work.

The following is from a CSIRO report in 2003. The mineralised zone is schist to 20 metres thick, dipping 10 to 40 degrees west, and strikes north north-east for about 1 kilometre. The trend thins to the north, outcrops poorly, variably weathered to a depth of 40 to 50 metres. The wall rocks are tholeiitic metabasalt, now metamorphosed to amphibolite, with minor interflow sediments and dolerite. These have been intruded by felsic dykes, and small quartz-schorl veinlets.

The weathered profile is truncated by saprolite, and blocks of saprock surrounded by brownish saprolite can be seen in the pit wall. The soil is structureless carbonate rich brown loam, small iron nodules, a few fibrous halite crystals, and at the base of the soil a 5 to 20 mm layer of coarse decussate gypsum crystals. The soil also contains quartz, kaolinite, smectite, hematite, goethite, minor maghemite, sericite, calcite, and trace anatase and K feldspar. Gold in the saprolite is patchy. There is a zone of enrichment 30 metres below the surface, but no corresponding zone of depletion.

Feldspar porphyry bodies occur in the schist, along the Hanging Wall, and beneath the Footwall. The porphyry is biotite altered, tightly folded.

Fresh angular schorl is abundant near the gold, which is found in intensely foliated and laminated biotite-plagioclase-actinolite-calcite-quartz schist. The base of the zone contains intense quartz-feldspar alteration, with up to 10% pyrite and pyrrhotite, trace chalcopyrite and sphalerite, with zones of schorl. Generally the deposit is sulphide poor, with coarse gold found in quartz veins.

At Lights of Israel an ore shoot within the shear has been tracked with drilling for approximately 1.5 km down plunge and mined approximately 900 m down plunge. A similar shoot development could occur in the adjacent Maiki and Great Ophir deposits




Mineral List


17 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.

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References

Robertson, I.D.M., Douglas, G.B. (2003), Lights of Israel Gold Deposit Davyhurst W.A., CRC LEME, 2003

The Sun newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1907), Davyhurst Mining, 10/02/1907

The Sun newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1907), Davyhurst Mining, 21/07/1907

Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1946), Exemption Granted for Lights of Israel, 26/11/1946

Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1912), Slimes Robbery at Davyhurst, 23/07/1912

The Evening Star newspaper (Boulder) (1907), The Light of Israel, 11/01/1907

The Sun newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1913), A Run to Davyhurst, 18/05/1913

Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1907), Light of Israel Mine, 01/01/1907

The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1933), North Coolgardie Field. Davyhurst and Mulwarrie. Early Day Producers, 29/09/1933

The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1911), Mining and Stocks and Shares, 27/06/1911

The Sun newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1909), Davyhurst Doings, 28/11/1909

Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1947), Rents Due on 468 Leases Through Out State, 26/05/1947

Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1907), Prospectus of Light of Israel Gold Mining Company, 11/01/1907

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