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Tailings Dump and Cyanide Vats

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Unnamed road, off Sullivan Street, Inglewood VIC 3517 (see map for location)

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map


The remains of a row of cyanide vats can be found alongside this unnamed track within the Inglewood Nature Conservation Reserve. 

A row of large, round depressions in the ground can be clearly seen. 

This site is located in the bushland off Sullivan Street, see map above for exact location.

Cyanide is used in mining to extract gold and silver from their ores. A brief summary of the cyanide process is offered by the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Cyanide process, also called Macarthur-forrest Process, method of extracting silver and gold from their ores by dissolving them in a dilute solution of sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide. 

The process was invented in 1887 by the Scottish chemists John S. MacArthur, Robert W. Forrest, and William Forrest. 

The method includes three steps: contacting the finely ground ore with the cyanide solution, separating the solids from the clear solution, and recovering the precious metals from the solution by precipitation with zinc dust (source).

The Inglewood Nature Conservation Reserve is packed with significant ruins, remnants and relics relating to the area's rich mining history. 

Bushwalking, birdwatching and gold prospecting are popular activities throughout the reserve, but please note that prospecting is not permitted at this particular site as it is protected by Heritage Victoria. 


  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.
  • Gold prospecting is the recreational act of searching for natural gold deposits in the ground using tools such as gold detectors, gold pans and gold sluices. The Goldfields region of Victoria is a popular destination for gold prospectors, with many of the world's largest alluvial gold nuggets found in the area!


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mystified that no mention of potential health impacts is made?