Hello, welcome to my first blog post! So, what minerals do we have in Tasmania that you can fossick for? Well, what are you interested in? I’ll give a very general overview of the main stuff you can fossick or prospect for, and in other posts I’ll go into more detail about particular areas, or minerals.
Tasmania is probably most famous for its crocoite, its petrified Lune River fern, its Flinders Island topaz, and its osmiridium. We also have a long history of gold mining, as well as silver, copper, zinc and other metals. When it comes to lapidary materials, the main ones are common opal (including opalised wood and fern), and various types of chalcedony (agates, carnelian, onyx, jasper). In addition to these, there is a long list of minerals that have been found in Tasmania.
Where can you look for information? Well, eventually here! But in the meanwhile, if your main interest is fossicking for mineral specimens, I can recommend:
- Occurrences of Gemstone Minerals in Tasmania, by Ralph Bottrill and Lloyd Matthews, probably the best free publication available.
- Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania‘ by R.S. Bottrill and W.E. Baker. Not free, you can buy it from Mineral Resources Tasmania (MRT).
If you’re interested in gold, there are quite a number of publications that provide a lot of detail on the various Tasmanian goldfields, most of them from MRT. I can recommend:
- Gold in Tasmania, by Bottrill and others (1992). It’s a bit technical but it covers all the main Tasmanian goldfields.
- Alluvial Gold, by Bottrill (1991). If you’re interested in gold panning this should be your main resource.
There are plenty more resources to look in, between book-type publications and old newspaper articles. In the coming months I hope to cover all the main sources I use to do my research on where to go fossicking or prospecting.
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