My name is Miguel and I’m a Tasmanian mad about fossicking and prospecting. I’ve been prospecting around Tasmania since shortly after I arrived in the early 1990s. I started off with an interest in lapidary, mostly agates, petrified wood, and petrified fern, such as you find at Lune River.
From there I focused more on gemstones, and I go to northeastern Tasmania at least a couple of times a year to look for sapphires around Weldborough, and I also metal detect for gold, coins and relics. My main interests are sapphires, gold and lapidary materials.
When I got started fossicking and prospecting, information about places to go, and what one was allowed to do was fairly hard to come by. If you wanted to research old historical reports you needed to travel to one of the State or University libraries. If you wanted to trawl through historical newspapers, you needed to consult the microfiche files. Information on rules and the law as it applies to prospecting was also difficult to find.
Today most historical Australian newspapers are available online from the National Library of Australia’s Trove database. Most historical published and unpublished reports on Tasmanian mining and prospecting have been digitised by Mineral Resources Tasmania. All of this information is now searchable online, but even so, I still sometimes get frustrated about how hard it can be to find information about prospecting in Tasmania.
As well as having spent a lot of time researching historical records to look for places to go prospecting, I’ve also spent a lot of time getting to know our current mining act, the Mineral Resources Development Act of 1995. I was surprised to find that advice given to prospectors by the regulating body (Mineral Resources Tasmania), about what they are and aren’t allowed to do, was not supported by the law, and this happens surprisingly often.
So what do you do with a ton of knowledge on the history of mining, Tasmanian goldfields, fossicking areas, different Tasmanian gemstones and minerals, and mining law? Well, since I still found it frustrating how little information there was online, why not tell others about it myself? That is how the idea for this blog was born.
I will be blogging about places to go, minerals, history, or rules, approximately once a week. If you like the blog contents, you can get them though email, when they come out, through our mailing list. If you’d like to write a guest post, or you have questions or want to know more, leave me a comment, or write a message in my contact page!
In late September 2015, I was interviewed by 936 ABC Hobart. We chatted generally about prospecting and fossicking, how to find locations, and the gear you’d need. You can listen to the interview in the post I wrote about it, or in the SoundCloud frame below. If you have trouble playing off here, you can listen to the interview directly off the SoundCloud website.