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Hidden Secret Gold Mine (Hidden Treasure), Golden Mile Mines, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 44' 44'' South , 121° 29' 20'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.74561,121.48893
GeoHash:G#: qdw3hdctc
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate

Sometimes the discovery of rich gold in a mine brings nothing but a tale of woe. This mine was involved in a complex litigation dispute over ownership, charges of gold stealing, and embroiled in the murder of two policemen. Lawyers made the most money out of the mine. GML 4001E.

The Hidden Secret borders the eastern side of Williamstown, a small Kalgoorlie outlier area of houses between the Mount Charlotte mine and the Superpit. The area contains a large number of fenced shafts.

The lease was pegged as the Hidden Treasure in the 1890's, by the Hannans Proprietary Development Company. With capital of 100 000 pounds, the mine manager George Gray went on a spending spree, it appears not all mining related. The company abandoned the lease as worthless.

Shortly after, prospector Jamie Dowling pegged the lease, re-naming it Hidden Secret. Davey, Sinclair and Jim Davis joined him, and they formed a syndicate of 800 shares, equally divided between them and their backers. Three years later and after much work, little gold had been found. The personnel of the syndicate had changed several times, as people dropped out disillusioned.

What happens next is very complex. In 1902, Ludovico Gianini who was working at the South Kalgurli mine for three years, bought out Sinclair, and started working the mine. Charles Sinclair had been charged with possession of stolen gold bearing ore. While found not guilty, the experience led him to sell his share of the mine.

Gianini had come from Italy in 1893. George Mayman who had worked at several Boulder mines also bought an interest. A Huntingdon mill was purchased and they opened up oxidised ore at the 100 foot level. This proved poor for gold values, and the mill was sold.

John Davey, Gianini and Mayman however continued at the mine. Davey was also Italian, but had anglicised his name from Davini. In 1904, penniless Michael Angelo Bertolini, being an old friend of Gianini asked for a job at the mine. He had prospected with Henry Fey (after which the locality of Feysville is named after, south of Kalgoorlie). Gianini agreed to board and food for free for Bertolini, and shares in the mine in place of wages. Bertolini refused the shares as they were worthless.

In August 1904, a rich pipe like shoot was uncovered in the mine, unique for the Golden Mile as it was telluride containing both gold and silver. Gianini offered to pay Bertolini his back wages, however he now demanded the shares originally promised, being more valuable.

Bertolini went to Charles Vincent. The latter claims he gave up shares in the mine, as he was being told by Gianini the mine was worthless, and Vincent therefore was paying rent and other expenses for them. It came to light rich ore was being crushed, but the rest of the syndicate was not being told. Further Gianini was an un-discharged bankrupt. Bertolini and Vincent claimed Gianini had placed shares in their name to avoid creditors, but when the rich shoot was discovered, convinced them to transfer the shares back to his name, without telling them of the rich ore discovered. The subsequent court case notified Gianini's creditors, and the receiver also made a bid for the mine's assets.

In August 1904, the crushing produced 18 tonnes of ore for 466 ounces of gold and 1980 ounces of silver worth 1820 pounds. By February 1907, the mine had produced 10 563 ounces of gold, and 38 157 ounces of silver from 732 tonnes of ore, worth 47 000 pounds. A 5 head battery was erected and complete plant, with about thirty men employed. George Mayman acted as mine manager.

By 1904, Gianini held 270 shares, Davey 242, Mayman 207, Kate Coffey 25, Jack Cosson 10, and the remainder split between Peter Fosson, and several other shareholders. The court awarded Bertolini 50 shares, but on appeal this was reversed. The judge was highly unimpressed with Bertolini's lack of English skills, confused and evasive answers. A letter two years later indicates his English written skills were entirely competent.

Meanwhile about the same time a pegging dispute erupts over a neighbouring lease GML 4108E. The warden finds Gianini and Mayman did not register the lease within ten days of pegging it, and awarded it to
Richard Henry Bawden and Alfred Smith who subsequently pegged it. Further,shareholder Kate Coffey and Edward John Quinn are in court over a share ownership dispute. After finding in favour of Coffey, the decision is appealed with the same result. 1906 and Thomas O'Donnell successfully gets forfeiture of the Hidden Secret West GML 4107E from the syndicate, when they can provide little paperwork to the court that the lease had been worked.

In 1911, 60 pounds worth of zinc shavings were stolen from the boxes one night at the plant. There was no night watchman employed to stop the theft.

1912 rolls around and there is more litigation. Adolphe Haacke sues the syndicate in a dispute over ore cartage charges. The Hidden Secret Gold Mining Company is made up of shareholders at this stage of Henry Pleyton Frost, Saul Epstein, John Lonsdale, Edward Francis Jack, William Pearce, Arthur Miller, Michael Auchetell, politician C.E. Frazer, Richard Hamilton, John Warrick, Ludovico Gianini, John Davey, Kate Coffey, and George Mayman.

The syndicate had let the mine on tribute and employed Haacke to cart ore. The tributers complained Haacke was quoting one price, then demanding a higher cost upon payment. Finding little gold they abandoned the tribute, leaving the syndicate to pay the bills. Haacke lost the case.

R.E. Willoughby was charged with possession of stolen gold bearing slimes at the Hidden Secret mine in 1913.

A local Kalgoorlie syndicate worked the mine from 1915 to at least 1917, when they request the Mines Department assistance to finance a geologist to find more ore.

Detectives Pitman and Walsh, from the Kalgoorlie Gold Stealing Unit, were found murdered in 1926, their bodies dumped down a mine shaft, with rubbish piled on top. Bill Coulter and Phil Treffene were hanged for the murder. Their illegal gold treatment plant for stolen gold had been uncovered in the scrub outside Kalgoorlie, leading to them taking matters into their own hands, and doing away with the police investigating. Coulter at the time had an option on the Hidden Secret, and Coulter had removed the furnace from the lease.

Egan, George Mayman still, and Melver remained as owners of the lease in 1926. By this stage the mine had produced 10 644 tonnes of ore for 15 279 ounces of gold and 43 383 ounces of silver.

In 1928, the owners noted are George Mayman, D. Leslie and J.C. Healy, with a new ore discovery 200 yards south of the 1926 one. Charles Egan also had an interest in the mine. Police located an illegal gold smelting plant in the underground workings of the mine. They raided his house, and while doing so, Egan removed most of the plant. However his son Daniel was caught disposing of goods down another shaft. Charles Egan received twelve months imprisonment. It was his second conviction for the offence.

An Adelaide syndicate took an option over the mine in 1934, but no other information was found.

Commodity List

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

Mineral List

32 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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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 Macrostrat.org

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 763946
mafic intrusive rocks 74263

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Mafic intrusive rocks, medium to coarse-grained; layered mafic to ultramafic intrusions - dolerite, gabbro, olivine gabbro, peridotite, pyroxenite, leucogabbro, quartz dolerite, quartz gabbro, gabbronorite

Comments: igneous mafic intrusive; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous mafic intrusive

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: 3187518
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Greenstone belt; mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks

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 Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. 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 mindat.org 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)
The Sun newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1907), The Hidden Secret. The Romantic Side of Goldmining, 15/12/1907 (picture)
Coolgardie Miner newspaper (1904), Hidden Secret, 05/10/1904
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1926), The Hidden Secret, 25/03/1926
Coolgardie Miner newspaper (1911), Robbery of Zinc Shavings at Hidden Secret, 04/02/1911
The West Australian newspaper (1926), Hidden Secret. Important Discoveries, 24/03/1926
Coolgardie Miner newspaper (1904), The Hidden Secret, 03/10/1904
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1928), Rich Ore. Development at Kalgoorlie. The Hidden Secret Again, 28/10/1928
The Daily News newspaper (Perth) (1928), The Hidden Secret Mine. Famous in Crime. Kalgoorlie Murder Echo, 14/05/1928
The Evening Star newspaper (Boulder) (1913), Gold Stealing. Hidden Secret Allegation, 18/04/1913
The Daily News newspaper (Perth) (1915), Hidden Secret, 24/04/1915
Coolgardie Miner newspaper (1904), The Hidden Secret, 30/09/1904
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1904), The Hidden Secret Appeal, 18/11/1904
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1917), Kalgoorlie, 07/09/1917
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1912), Hidden Secret Litigation, 03/12/1912
The Evening Star newspaper (Boulder) (1912), Claim Against Hidden Secret, 24/05/1913
The Evening Star newspaper (Boulder) (1905), Hidden Secret Appeal Case Concluded, 13/10/1905
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1913), Haacke V Hidden Secret Case for Defendants, 17/06/1913
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1934), Hidden Secret Mine. Adelaide Interests Seek Option, 04/09/1934
The Evening Star newspaper (Boulder) (1904), Hidden Secret Syndicate Squabbles Cleared in Court, 11/10/1904
The Daily News newspaper (Perth) (1926), The Hidden Secret. Furnace Theft Disappeared, 06/07/1926
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1905), Hidden Secret Shares. Quinn and Coffey Appeal Case, 04/07/1905
The Sun newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1907), The Growler. Bertolini and the Hidden Secret- to the Ed., 29/12/1907
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1906), Application for Forfeiture. The Hidden Secret West, 07/11/1906
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1904), Neighbourhood of the Hidden Secret. Objection to a Lease Upheld, 18/10/1904
The West Australian newspaper (Peth) (1904), Kalgoorlie, 14/06/1904
The Sun newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1904), The Hidden Secret Scramble Guileless Grubbers for Gold. How a Backer Bounced a Bonanza. Vincent Vents His Grievances, 09/10/1904

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