|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||30° 56' 35'' South , 121° 10' 43'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-30.94310,121.17875|
|Köppen climate type:||BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate|
This is a gold site, one of the best known and famous in Western Australia. It is located 2 kilometres north-east of Coolgardie, immediately west of the Kalgoorlie road. An obelisk marks the site, together with the base of the original headframe. 1.5 kilometres north north-east of Coolgardie.
Gold was discovered here by Arthur Bayley and William Ford in 1892. It was continuously worked until 1963, recovering over 500 000oz of gold over this time.
Bayley had already made significant gold discoveries elsewhere in Western Australia, before deciding to explore the area east of Southern Cross, which at that time was an unknown quantity.
According to Bayley's account, they had camped at the site of a native waterhole, and while their horses fed on grass, specked for gold. They were not the first here, as they discovered a tin plate nailed to a post. They also discovered the two skeletons of the original claimants nearby, who had been speared by aborigines. Ford soon found a half ounce nugget, and later picked up a 7 ounce piece. Over 6 weeks they picked up much more. Initially they didn't report the find, but went back to Southern Cross for supplies, before returning to the site. This time they uncovered the reef. Three men arrived who had followed them, and Bayley claims they stole 200oz from the site. At this point they had no option but to report the claim. One of the men, Tommy Talbot, stated he had discovered the deposit, and therefore the claim should be awarded to him. Rumour states he changed his mind after Ford pointed a gun at him. Talbot went on to earn a fortune, but in property not gold.
Bayley and Ford reported the find to the Warden, Finnerty, at Southern Cross, and were thereby awarded a 5 acre lease over the site. Finnerty sent a telegram to Perth: 'very rich quartz reef... gold has been picked up on the surface four miles square in granite, ironstone and greenstone'. It was enough to cause the greatest goldrush in Australia's history.
Soon after Bayley and Ford sold the lease to Sylvester Browne. Bayley's Reward was sold for 24 000 pounds, and Bayleys South for 40 000 pounds. Bayley died soon after. He had discovered the site aged 27, and died aged 31 (1865-1896) at Avenel Station, Victoria. My family once owned the station. Ford lived till 80 years of age.
Sylvester Browne is the brother of the famous author who wrote 'Robbery Under Arms', amongst other books. Sylvester was a significant Australian character in his own right. At Bayley's Reward he sunk shafts, and an 1899 photograph shows a headframe, mullock and significant buildings for processing the ore.
Famous Western Australian explorer, David Carnegie, worked at the mine around this time. In his book, 'Spinifex and Sand', he states 10 000oz of gold was retrieved in the first 6 months after the purchase from Bayley and Ford, even without the use of a gold battery. The shoot of gold was over 100 ft long, at 52 ft down the shaft. A second shaft was sunk and they expect to meet the main reef at 170 ft.
The site is also known as Fly Flat. Anyone who has travelled the Australian outback in summer will know why.
Bayleys consists of steep north-east dipping fine grained pillowed basalt, overlain by a thin (under 5 m) discontinuous black shale, and fine to medium grained tremolite-chlorite-talc-carbonate schists. Quartz-feldspar porphyries (under 10 m thick) have intruded along the black shale horizon.
The gold is hosted in thin (under 2 m) laminated to bucky quartz reefs in steep north-east dipping, brittle ductile shear zones, developed parallel to the shale horizon. The reefs are cut by several steep west dipping, north-east striking oblique reverse brittle ductile shear zones. The source states the neighbouring Kings Cross mine geology is virtually the same.
To April 1991, the mine had produced 558 551 tonnes of ore at 15.58 g/t yielding 8 700 kg Au.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.
19 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.
Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org
|Neoarchean - Mesoarchean|
2500 - 3200 Ma
|Archean volcanic rocks|
Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)
Comments: Yilgarn Craton
Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. 
2500 - 4000 Ma
|ultramafic and minor mafic rocks 74475|
Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)
Description: Tremolite-chlorite-talc amphibolite, metapyroxenite, pyroxenite, peridotite, serpentinite, ultramafic schists, komatiite, high-Mg basalt; also chalcedony, silica, jasper, silcrete, silica cap rock on ultramafic rocks
Comments: igneous ultramafic intrusive; meta-igneous ultramafic volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions
Lithology: Igneous ultramafic intrusive; meta-igneous ultramafic volcanic
Reference: Raymond, O.L., Liu, S., Gallagher, R., Zhang, W., Highet, L.M. Surface Geology of Australia 1:1 million scale dataset 2012 edition. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia).