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Great Sandstone Mine

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Bulldog Lane, Llanelly VIC 3551

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Features

  • Historic mine and battery site
  • Wooden battery foundations
  • Brick machinery foundations
  • Mullock heaps
  • Dam
The Great Sandstone Mine Bushland Reserve lies on the outskirts of Llanelly and features the remnants of multiple mining companies who were working on the Sandstone Reef. A rare surviving line of 19th century wooden battery foundations remain at the site, which once supported a 20 head stamp battery. The remains of three out of four sets are still present, each of which supported 5 heads of stamps. Remnants of brick machinery foundations sit alongside a brick-lined pit which once housed part of the mine's powerful steam-driven water pumping equipment. The reserve is filled with mullock heaps and filled shafts, as well as a large dam.

Sandstone Reef was worked by various companies through the 1860s and 70s. Mining stopped in the mid 70s before resuming in the 1890s, when upgraded pumping and crushing equipment was installed.

Sandstone miners, Llanelly, c 1900. Image source: Victorian Collections, Donald Clark Collection.

The following description of the Great Sandstone Company's equipment upgrades was published in the Tarnagulla and Llanelly Courier, 7th April 1894:

The Great Sandstone Company's Mine, Llanelly. The contractor, Mr Jorgensen, is making good progress with his contract for erecting the engine to work the Cornish pumps which are being put in to replace the Otis pump. There is no doubt that the Cornish pump should have been put in the first instance instead of spending a vast amount of money on pumps, which have proved complete failures and have had to be removed at great cost to the company. Unfortunately, the trouble did not end here. The directors were persuaded by the Otis Co. to get one of their Ball Mill crushers. Subsequent results have proved this likewise to be a failure. The management has crushed 5 tons of quartz and 15 tons of tailings from which good prospects were obtained, for a yield of 1 1/2 ounces of gold for the lot; and this under the superintendence of Mr. Brown, one of the experts in the employ of the Otis Company. 10 tons of tailings from the Hellas Reef were then crushed without the use of silver on the amalgamating tables. From this parcel they obtained about 1/2 dwt of gold altogether, though the prospects in the tailings showed 2 to 3 dwts of loose gold to the load. 5 tons of stone were then operated on from the Princess Royal shaft without the use of silver, and the result was about 1 dwt of gold from the lot ... Since then the company has removed the concentrating tables and erected splendid tables and copper plates. They then crushed 24 tons of quartz for the tributors, calcined, and obtained 10 oz 3 1/2 dwts of gold; and even this had to be sent to Mr. Spargo's works at Golden Square to be treated as it could not be amalgamated by the ordinary process. 56 tons of the same quality stone were then forwarded to Mr. Clark's battery at Eaglehawk. This returned 12 oz. 15 dwts. of smelted gold .. The Company are now on the right track. They are putting in a Cornish lift and have purchased a battery.

A sign at the entrance to the reserve displays the following text:

Great Sandstone Mine
Natural Features Reserve

This reserve has been set aside to protect our natural heritage.

To help protect this reserve - do not:
  • Litter or dump rubbish
  • Light fires
  • Remove firewood
  • Remove soil or rock
  • Use vehicles off road
  • Use firearms
This is an interesting area for bushwalking but be wary of mine shafts and uneven ground. 






GREEN AND GOLD PROSPECTING


Are you looking for in-depth gold prospecting training, tips and tricks in Victoria's Golden Triangle? Green and Gold Prospecting provide exclusive one on one gold prospecting tours and training days, specialising in the Bendigo and Castlemaine regions. Great to book on your own or as a fun day out with the family, a training session with Green and Gold Prospecting offers valuable insight into the world of gold prospecting, and equips you with the knowledge you need to successfully search for gold on your own.

ACCOMMODATION NEARBY


Inglewood Motel and Caravan Park


Inglewood Motel and Caravan Park is a 10 acre bush park privately owned and managed by Jerry and Pauline Wellman in the gorgeous gold-rush town of Inglewood, Victoria. The park is within walking distance to cafes, shops and hotel entertainment, and is surrounded by State Forests. Inglewood Motel and Caravan Park is a popular destination for tourists and is located within the renowned Golden Triangle - a region of the Victorian Goldfields which is world famous for the size, purity, and quantity of gold nuggets found in the area. 

Wedderburn Goldseeker Motel


Wedderburn Goldseeker Motel offers classic country hospitality in the heart of Wedderburn, providing the perfect base for visitors to explore the beautiful Loddon Valley, the region's significant historical goldfields, and the surrounding towns of Inglewood, Bridgewater and Boort. Located two and a half hours from Melbourne and one hour from Bendigo, Wedderburn Goldseeker Motel is the perfect destination for your next getaway.


DID YOU KNOW...

  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.
  • 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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