How to Mine for Opal

How to Mine for Opal

4th May 2023

                            How to Mine for Opal

Extreme Weather Conditions, Breakdowns and More..

opal mining

Opal mining is a massive undertaking requiring years of experience, the trade is often handed down generationally within families. There are many different Opal fields in Australia with most Opal fields in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

When looking for a good producing Opal field, understanding the typography of the land is imperative to ensure Opal bearing levels. In Opalton where the world famous "Boulder Opal" is sourced from, drills are often used prior to the use of excavators. Diesel can be costly and this technique is done to reduce fuel costs as well to assess if there is any "trace" material prior to undertaking a more robust digging operation.

Extreme weather conditions can affect digging equipment and Opal mining equipment can often be old and breakdowns can be common which can quickly put a stop to any mining operation. Most Opal miners must also be "unofficial" mechanics as there are no repair shops in the remote outback!

People live out on the opal fields on residential claims called camps. In Opalton there is no running water, electricity or paved roads. Coupled with extreme weather conditions, wild animals and living completely off the "grid", digging in the remote outback is only for the experienced!

Opal mining