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McPherson's Reward Gold Mine (Macphersons Reward), Coolgardie, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 59' 49'' South , 121° 11' 50'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.99698,121.19741
GeoHash:G#: qdqptvjm8
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate

All sources state the location as McPherson's Reward (or McPhersons Reward) until 2010, when the Macphersons Reward Company was formed to take over the tenements, and all information after that date the name is spelt MacPhersons.

Located approximately 6 kilometres south-east of Coolgardie, on the south side of a low hill. Gold at the site was discovered by John McPherson early 1894. He was a Scottish immigrant who had migrated initially to Victoria during that state's gold rushes. The deposit was sold to the Western Australian Gold Exploration Company for 22 000 pounds mid 1896.

McPherson did not enjoy his money for long. In February 1898, he was feeling unwell, and decided to return to his home town of Rutherglen in Victoria, where in died in April of that year from a burst blood vessel.

A new company was floated in Adelaide with 30 000 pounds capital called the McPhersons Reward Gold Mining Company. They set about erecting a 10 head battery by May 1897. In January 1899, the company applied for a six month exemption stating it needed to raise capital, but mining never resumed. During this period the company mined 1631 tonnes of ore for 1650 ounces of gold.

S.J.M. Green has crushings listed as McPherson's Reward across 1937 to 1938. It is stated at the time, he had discovered a parallel lode missed by the original miners. Later research suggests this was the Lady Grace workings, neighbouring to the McPherson mine. This research states this period was active 1937 to 1940. During this period 600 tonnes of ore was crushed for 15 g/t Au.

Bill Powell was a life long prospector who was wandering through the country in 1983, around the long forgotten McPherson's Reward mine. An area 125 metres south-west of the mine looked promising, and under the calcrete he uncovered gold everywhere. The discovery of the bonanza, in the middle of a share market boom (yes it went bust later), caused a sensation at the time. Life is short, so nobody bothered about drilling. Bill went in with a large front end loader, metal detecting for gold nuggets as he went, eventually getting to a depth where he discovered what was later named the Powell Reef. Ore was carted to the state battery. In the first 2 months, 600 tonnes was crushed for 22 g/t, with 7-8 g/t left in the tailings. Gold was showing as freely detachable sheets.

Bill was offered its claimed 25 million for the mine, however his dream was to develop his own mine. He invested 10 million dollars in machinery, and a series of open pits were developed from 1984. By 1985, Powell had produced 7115 tonnes of ore at 20 g/t Au yielding 3980 ounces of gold through the state battery at Coolgardie. This was from the Powell Reef but the figures do not include the gold nuggets found around the reef. Powell had proceeded too big too early, and was forced to sell his interests to Elders Resources in 1985, but they went into receivership in 1987. During this period Elders produced 458 000 tonnes of ore for 2.24 g/t Au yielding 32 984 ounces of gold. The Kerry and Salvo Reefs were discovered at this time.

From 1987-88 Belgravia Resources NL/Electrum NL Joint Venture controlled the mine producing 121 500 tonnes of ore at 4.3 g/t Au yielding 16 797 ounces of gold from the McPherson deposit, and 47 000 tonnes of ore at 2.9 g/t Au yielding 4382 ounces of gold from the Kerry deposit. They went into receivership as well.

In 1989, the lease as awarded back to Bill Powell, who the same year produced 1500 tonnes of ore at 8.18 g.t Au yielding 250 ounces of gold from handpicked material from the Kerry and Salvo waste dumps. Little happened until 2008 when the mine was sold to newly formed MacPhersons Reward Pty Ltd, with Powell employed as prospecting manager at the site. Much exploration work then followed, especially along the line of lode south-west and south of McPhersons. A small deluge of information was produced until 2012, when things fall quiet. It appears the company is focussed on other projects it controls in the region. It is clear there is still much gold to be mined around this location, and it is only a matter of time.

The location at present is marked by 4 interconnected pits called McPherson (32 metres deep), Powell (44 metres), Kerry (16 Metres) and Salvo (20 metres). Adjoining to the south west is a shallow 14 metre deep pit called A-Cap after the company who made it. These pits are sited on a tonalite porphyry dyke, approximately 100 metres thick in the mine area, striking north-east to south-west for 2.4 kilometres. The dyke contains a low grade 0.5 to 2.0 g/t biotite-chlorite/pyrrhotite stockwork envelope. Within the envelope is quartz reefs, dipping 30 to 40 degrees north-east and trending north-west, with higher grade gold mineralisation ranging from 1.0 to 138.2 g/t Au. Gold is also found as shear zone hosted style along the contacts of the tonalite.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

3 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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Regional Geology

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

Neoarchean - Mesoarchean
2500 - 3200 Ma

ID: 3187518
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Greenstone belt; mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks

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. [154]

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 848390
mafic extrusive rocks 74248

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Basalt, high-Mg basalt, minor mafic intrusive rocks; some andesite; agglomerate; mafic schist; amphibolite; dolerite; komatiitic basalt; carbonated basalt; basaltic andesite; mafic rock interleaved with minor granitic rock

Comments: igneous mafic volcanic; igneous mafic intrusive; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous mafic volcanic; igneous mafic intrusive

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). [5]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1899), Coolgardie, 07/01/1899
South Australian Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1897), Coolgardie, 01/03/1897
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1898), Coolgardie, 21/04/1898
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1937), Coolgardie Crushings, 20/07/1937
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1896), Sale of Egerton and McPherson's Reward, 19/06/1896
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1937), Coolgardie District, 14/01/1937
The Inquirer and Commercial News newspaper (Perth) (1894), McPhersons Reef Coolgardie, 18/05/1894
The Canberra Times newspaper (1984), McPhersons Reward Find Recalls 90's Goldrush (Stuart Haywood), 07/09/1984
The Canberra Times newspaper (1984), $500 000 Return to Prospector, 07/07/1984
The Canberra Times newspaper (1984), Unit Trusts Increasingly Popular, 23/03/1984
MacPhersons Reward Gold Limited (2010), Prospectus, 2010
Goodz, M.D., Phillips, G.M., Money, L. (2011), Mine Geology of the MacPhersons Reward Gold Mine Coolgardie Western Australia, 8th International Geology Conference (AUSIMM Melbourne), 2011, pp123-130
Wynne, E., (2010), Coolgardie Still Rewarding Gold Seekers, ABC Radio Goldfields, 10/08/2010
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (2010), History in the Remaking, 23/12/2010

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