Question for Jack

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by petesusn, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. petesusn

    petesusn Member

    I'm asking this for my daughter.
    Can anyone go to Australia and mine for Opal or is that also controlled by the government?
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    basically anyone can mine for opal

    but theres a lot of "depends"

    anyone can "noodle"

    thats go through spoil or thown out stuff from other mines providing you ask the lease holder ( never heard of anyone saying no other than US outfits but many of those will say ok too if you split what you find, sorry but true)

    no licences permits required

    to operate a mine ( buy a lease and mine intensively)

    you'd need a permit when applying for your visa and declare what you intend to do and this can be rejected , however if you list a aussie on the lease as many folks do then your just helping a friend etc, no permit required

    we have had a lot of troubles with people coming here saying they'll mine but come here and poach rare birds, grow pot, rob folks etc.. its really stuffed up the game for the real folks as the government did crack down on this a bit hard after about 98 and again in 2004

    but a nevada couple i know of came out, just as tourists, the first time and got the bug , and when they went home applied for permits etc. when they returned they had no problems as
    1 they had been here 3 months and no issues
    2 put forward a business plan and hired a old miner ( cheap) to teach em the ropes( classed as employer investors which DIMA likes)
    3 had return tickets lodged and thier plan was only for 6 months of the year

    so the gov knew if they went broke they'd be the US's problem not Oz's hassle

    it was not expencive i'll get a mate who is a opal miner to explain the rules and reg's as he's helped a few folks from overseas get started, he's not a internet full time person but i'll phone him and get him to write it in a email and send it when next he's in town

    different feilds are also easier /harder to get onto and i'll suss out the whys and reasons for that for you as well, as i am not real sure why

    but white cliffs and lightning ridge in NSW seem to be where mant over seas folks start off and Coober pedy ( not far from my home in SA ) seems to be harder for overseas folks to get started in, maybe because its full but i aint sure so will find out, some fields i think have limited licences available and so you have to buy a existing one , i was offered one at coober pedy with a nice 3 bedroom dugout all mod cons a/c running water etc for $85,000 with lease ( about $80K USD ) and mining eqipment ( dingo machine and compressors etc)

    dugout without licence is $65 K AUD the bloke who owns it is going home to the UK as he found a patch that pulled him $3.4 MILLION in 2 weeks ( and want to sell out before the 12 month tax free preiod ends )

    but you do not need to go so far or indepth to mine

    i'll get my mate to write to me and post it for you here



  3. petesusn

    petesusn Member

    Jack, thank you very much. This is more info than I even hoped for. Excellent. I'll pass this on to my daughter and her husband. And if your mate gets more info I'll pass that along as well. You can PM me if you wish.
  4. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    Jack, from what I've read Coober Pedy is about the most god-awful place on earth. Don't the residents live underground there?
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    well it aint pretty and you can fry bacon and eggs on the rocks at lunchtime in winter

    but the folks are great and there's the opals

    yes it looks like the arse end of afghanistan but well some say parts of arizona and neveada are the same

    but if they get some rain you'll never see more wild flowers or birds anywhere

    like a lot of the inland its not meant for office types

    i like it , but opal mining? bloody hard work and it can be a long time between paydays eh

    the bloke who got the $3M payday had been there 12 years with only making wages SOME OF THE TIME.

    ya pays ya money, ya takes ya chances

    i think the saying goes

    today its 55 Degree's C in coober pedy
    55 degree Celsius = 131 degree Fahrenheit

    but its a dry heat :D

    the house in the link is a dugout, ( underground )

    take a look it aint so bad

    go to then select South Australia and search Coober Pedy and see what comes up for a idea on living there


    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    Costs of mining

    Opal Mining Act Fees

    Regulations under the Opal Mining Act 1995 - fees from 1st July 2009

    Note: All fees listed below are exempt from Goods and Services Tax (GST) add 10% for GST

    1. Application for a permit under section 7 of the Act $ 58.50
    Application for renewal of a permit under section 9 of the Act$ 58.50

    2. Application for issue of a duplicate permit$ 13.00

    3. Application for a set of identification plates
    (other than the first set of plates) $ 7.00
    Application for issues of a replacement identification plate $ 5.50

    4. Application for the registration of:
    (a) a small precious stones claim $ 24.30
    (b) a large precious stones claim $ 49.25
    (c) an extra large precious stones claim $ 70.00
    (d) an opal development lease$ 78.00

    5. Application for the renewal of the registration of:
    (a) a small precious stones claim $ 90.50
    (b) a large precious stones claim $182.00
    (c) an extra large precious stones claim$247.00

    6. Lodgement or withdrawal of a caveat$ 58.50

    7. Lodgement of a bond$13.10

    8. Submission for a registration of an opal mining co-operation agreement$ 73.00

    9. Lodgement for registration of:

    (a) a native title mining agreement
    (b) a native title mining determination

    10. Inspection of the Mining Register$ 35.50

    11. Extraction of a precious stones claim$ 5.60

    12. Application for an exemption from the obligation to comply with a provision of the Act$ 78.00

    13. Recovery of a post stored at an office of the Mining Registrar$ 18.90

    14. Application for an exemption from the requirement to remove posts
    $ 9.00

    15. Application for an authorisation under the Act$ 13.10

    16. Registration of any other document$ 13.10

    so you see its not expencive to start a claim of your own

    i called a mate who is the publican ( bar keeper) at the diggeres rest hotel (pub) at lightning ridge

    he made enough at coober pedy to buy the pub at lightning ridge

    he gave me this number for the lady who is the government boss of the district there

    she can answer all your questions without fail and apparently is a nice bird too

    Merilyn Lane, phone (international access code for the US)+61 (Oz) 8 ( area code) 8678 9057 (her direct line number, save the switch board run around eh)

    ask her for her email and go from there, by email , way cheaper eh

    Ron reckons that SA is allowing allied nations a bit of slack whith applications for on again off again permits ( come here part of the year go home and return)

    check with the lady and she'll be able to confirm that

    rules change here fast so be sure to get it straight from a gov rep
    and in email you'll have it in writing

    will let you know when i hear from brookesy


  7. petesusn

    petesusn Member

    Thanx. I'll once again pass this on to my daughter and her husband.
  8. petesusn

    petesusn Member

    In the summer we have dry heat in the 105 - 110 F range here in the valley.
    In Florida we had humid heat in the 90 - 95 F range. But anyway you cut it, heat is heat. Dry or wet. I looked up Coober Pedy on Google Earth and was amazed that there really is a town out in the middle of nowhere. How far is the nearest civilization and how far apart are petrol (is that right? or do you use the term gas?) stations.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    Glendambo is about 250 Km's south of Coober and fuel is there during daylight

    i fill up there but it aint cheap fuel in the outback before this its every 100 k's or so

    north forget about cadney its too expencive make it to maria and your sweet and they serve great tucker ( food ) too

    theres fuel on the main roads every 250 K's or so but do check the maps some places go 500 k's between fuel stops so i carry a 5 gal jerry on the bike

    to be honest from my place ( sterling ) i head up through a back road to Woomera and fuel there most of the time and see friends out that way then refuel at samson station a large cattle property that has a store but its not marked on the map

    he has a 5000 gal tank there for petrol (gas) and a 10,000 gal tank for diesal
    i also call ahead to see if they are topped up too and generally camp there the night

    this was possible for anyone a few years ago but like i said above the world has changed and dope growers steal fuel and such in the outback often

    also on aboriginal lands petrol is prohibited as the kids sniff it and will milk a car ( crawl under and loosen the drain plug ) to get it so check ahead

    jack_4t at is my email ( call me anything you like but dont call me late for tea )

    basic things in the outback

    if they break down light a fire and add stuff to make smoke but stay with the vehicle , DO NOT wander off looking for water etc.

    smoke will be spotted by either aboriginals who'll report it but will stay away (thank criminals again) or by the many small planes/choppers that are about

    and folks will come , trust me

    2 carry first aid for snakes of the worlds ten most deadly we have 9 and all are plentiful especiually out that way, dont lift sheet metal etc stay back from old car wrecks etc snakes like these as they hold heat at night and being cold blooded do not fear hot metal

    3 water, carry as much as you can , and as soon as you can replenish every chance you get , out there every drop counts, i walk cross country but know how to find it thanks to the folks i grew up with , the aboriginals , they dont have water bags like arabs and such they find it where it is drink and move on,

    4 fire materials

    it get cold at night and after a hot day temperature shock will kill you faster than lack of water, it goes from -3C to + 50 degree C in 3 hours and back just as fast

    a fire will also keep nasties away

    5 CB/UHF/VHF radios saved many folks and are well monitored even if you dont hear chatter pick up the radio survival guide as early as you can here or find a copy online for australia

    6 let the cops know your plans time of departure and expected arrival at the next cop shop if going off the beaten track , this is a service here that is free and under used by visitors as they don't know about it but ask at any outback cop shop and they'll explain it all for you and give you maps and updated road/track reports and advice

    7 GPS new but bloody handy
    i have a magellan explorer, aint needed it yet but i still carry it

    8 do not try to play outback jack or similar
    i know US tv shows have folks walking across the outback and i do it but again my nick name is blackjack because folks think i'm more black fella than white fella , and it took me years to learn the outback from experts , most do not have that luxury and do not have back up crews like the TV shows do, but dont show, i know, i did work on one , i thought it BS when i saw the final produced show, survival?? it was a holiday..

    the rest is common sence

    lots of folks have a good time find a bit of opal its not hard

    they will find some thats a sure bet but making wages? a small bet but doable with work , and getting rich? thats a big punt ( gamble)

    i like gold myself and can point them to some good gold feilds ( alluvial or placer i think you folks call it) opals i visit mates who do it

    sapphires and other gems i played with but not seriously, army took up most of my life

    if they have specific questions send me a email and i'll get as good a answer as i can and if they wish will arrainge for some introductions to the folks out that way

    i have friends at lightning ridge ( far west NSW) and coober pedy both and know the mines inspector at whitecliffs ( ex infantry bloke)

    plenty of ex military retire and dig so theres sure to be someone i'll know in most places just gotta chase em


  10. petesusn

    petesusn Member

    Being retired U.S. Navy and a Vietnam and first Persian Gulf War veteran I feel very comfortable around former military types no matter what their branch of service was.
    Thanx for the advice.
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