Life on the goldfields

By Mikala

The types of mining on the goldfields

Alluvial and shaft mining were incredibly useful to miners.

*Alluvial mining is done on the surface of the land or near water. The tools and gear for alluvial mining were much cheaper than gear used for shaft mining. the main tools were a pan and a shovel. Mainly small flakes of gold were found when doing alluvial mining.

*Shaft mining was done by miners in deep rocky underground mines. Unlike alluvial mining, big chunks of gold were found when doing shaft mining , so most miners used shaft mining instead of alluvial. The tools used in shaft mining were windlass, bucket, cradle and a pick axe.

Tools used in mining

Miners used a variety of tools to mine up chunks and flakes of gold.

*Californian rocking cradle- to separate the gold from any sand or dirt.

*Windlass-used to hoist buckets with dirt to the surface.

*Sluice box-water runs down from the top to wash away any sand or dirt.

*Shovel-to dig up sand, dirt and mud.

*Used to find small nuggets or flecks of gold in creeks and shallow water.

*Pick axe- used to break big rocks.

Chinese on the goldfields

The Chinese were clean, quiet and law-abiding. They wore different clothes, had different food, hair styles and different techniques when mining. The Europeans teased the Chinese a lot about that. Up to seven thousand Chinese immigrants came from china to mine for gold in the late 1880s. Many of the Chinese travelling to Victoria landed in Robe so they could avoid the cost of tax. But many of the Chinese went to California before they came to Australia.

Women on the goldfields

Among the people on the goldfield a small amount of those people were women. Many women made their fortunes on the goldfields like Eliza Gilbert and Margaret Kennedy.

*Eliza Gilbert was an Irish dancer and in the evenings, Eliza would dance in front of the miners who would shower Eliza with gold nuggets.

*Margaret Kennedy was panning for gold in Bendigo Creek, September 1851, where she discovered the rich Victorian goldfields.

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Life on the goldfields

Before miners could start mining, miners had to have a permit otherwise they were bashed and killed by bushrangers. Each permit you buy lasts up to one year. Your permit was needed at all times in case thepolice came up to you to have a look.

You needed the right tools and gear but also enough food to last you at least a month because the nearest town was a couple of days away.

Many of the prospectors on the goldfields bought tea, mutton and flour to eat and drink. Tea was the biggest source of water because the water at the goldfields had bad diseases in it. Miners used the flour to make damper.

On the goldfields there were many theives who stole miners gold. Miners had to hide their gold so nobody could steal them. There were also many droughts and floods.

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