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Mt Surprise - Fossicking tour to O'Briens Creek

Day 40 - Wednesday 19 June 2013

Another nice sunny day in Mount Surprise with a forecast of 13 to 27 degrees. We were up early for a quick breakfast before walking up to the Gem Den for our fossicking tour to O'Brien's Creek with Pete, our guide. We were taken the 43 kms to the gem-fields by Pete driving the mini-bus on a mainly gravel road. We were joined on the tour by Karen and Tracey from Traralgon in Victoria who were having their first fossicking experience.

Pete has a one hectare mining claim close to the creek bed. We were provided with the tools of trade - a pick, a shovel, a sieve and a stand, and given a demonstration of how to use them. The sieving is done dry without water and the topaz stands out in the gravel and sand as it looks like clear glass. After an hour or so with moderate success all round we were provided with morning tea, then it was back to the action for another hour or so.

Karen, Tracey and Di ready for action

Karen, Tracey and Di ready for action

Di digging for Topaz

Di digging for Topaz

A whole lot of shaking going on

A whole lot of shaking going on

Back at the Gem Den the finds for the day were assessed by Pam - everyone had some gem quality topaz worth cutting. Di left one of her stones for cutting - she should get a 5 carat white topaz. She also purchased a ring with an aquamarine and two small white topaz, aquamarine is her birthstone. David thinks that a new camera lens might be just around the corner.

After completing our purchases we all headed for the Mount Surprise Hotel for a few drinks - yes Frosty the beer was indeed cold. Karen and Tracey with their better halves are heading for Cape York in camper trailers. While chatting to the owner of the hotel she told us about her daughter who drives enormous graders and even bigger trucks at the coal mines at Moranbah, which is east of Rockhampton.

Posted by TwoAces 02:11

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