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South Clunes Mine

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Victoria Street, Clunes VIC 3370

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Located on both sides of Victoria Street in Clunes, Victoria, the South Clunes Mine commenced operations in 1859, starting out as a reef mine. 

An alluvial drift was found running through the site, and this became the mine's main source of gold.

The company amalgamated with the Lothair Mine in 1885 and became the South Clunes United Company.

The 1888 Reports and Statistics for the South Clunes United Company offers the following information regarding the South Clunes United mine:

The mining property of the South Clunes United Company is situated within the municipal boundary of Clunes, Victoria, comprising an area of 156 acres, or a length from north to south of 4,600 feet on the course of the lodes; these hereafter will be particularised. 

The title of the claim is a lease direct from the Crown, to expire fifteen years from date; position of the Mine is central, being on the southern portion of township; and of easy access, Victorian Government Railway passing through the Company's property.

May 19th, 1888. 



I reference to your request that I should furnish you with a report upon the mines of the South Clunes United Company, I have the honor to state that though precluded from doing so in my official capacity, I feel at liberty as a private individual to offer such remarks and opinions as are based upon my own personal knowledge of the Clunes Goldfield, and the known facts in connection with the property under notice. 

The report of your Mining Manager, based as it is on reliable official data, leaves nothing for me to add as to the area of the property, the various reefs and lodes contained in it, the quantities of quartz already raised and the yields obtained, and the present condition of the Mine and Plant. 

The special points to which I would therefore call attention are, the very favorable position of the property on one of the most important gold-bearing belts of reefs in Australia, the great significance of the yields quoted, the comparatively shallow depths to which mining has yet extended, and the great extent of unworked and untried ground along or on either side of the courses of the known lodes. 

Your property, as pointed out in the Mining Manager's Report, contains a length of 4,600 feet on the course of the great belt of lodes from which such great returns have been already obtained in mines adjacent on the north. The gold already obtained and the dividends paid from your - mines place the richly auriferous character of the lodes beyond a doubt, while the size and strength of the lodes give assurance of their permanence to great depths. 

The special significance of the gross yield from the Clunes Goldfield consists in the fact that from mines within an area of 1 1/4 square miles the amount of gold that has been raised is about 1-50th (one-fiftieth) of the entire gold-yield of Victoria since the first discovery of the precious metal in the colony. Of this proportion nearly one-sixth has been obtained from the mines within your amalgamated properties, though, as shown by your Mining Manager, none of the shafts thereon have reached 900 feet. 

Your ground resembles that of the Band and Albion Company, at Ballarat, with respect to the presence of rich alluvial leads skirting the belt of reefs, from whose denudation the alluvial gold has been derived. 

The alluvial gold in both cases has practically been worked out, but the lodes continue downwards in the bed-rock, and maintain their auriferous character. 

The rocks with which the lodes in your property are associated are identical geologically with those of the Sandhurst and Ballarat Goldfields; in fact are part of the same system as those of Ballarat - Lower Silurian. 

From the experience of these fields it may with confidence be predicted that your mines are likely to continue to be productive to as great a depth as human skill can penetrate, and the deepening of your main shaft is therefore a proper and legitimate work, in view of the absolute certainty of the downward permanence of the lodes.

Besides the length and depth along the known lodes which wait development, there is a strong likelihood that in the great width of your property there may be other lines of reef as yet undiscovered, which will eventually be found by means of cross-cutting. 

In conclusion, I beg to express my conviction as to the bona fide and soundly legitimate character of your undertaking, and my firm belief in the successful issue of your proposed extended operations.

I have the honor to be, 
Your obedient Servant, 


  • Evidence of the mid-late 1800's gold rush can be found throughout the Victorian goldfields in the form of abandoned mine shafts and tunnels, mullock heaps, buildings and ruins, circular puddling troughs, remains of cyanide vats, and quartz kilns.


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