A new fossicking area is opening up near Clermont this week in a move hoped to boost local returns from gold prospecting.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the 181ha Flat Diggings fossicking area 15km north-west of Clermont would be a magnet for fossickers.
“Locals, Isaac Regional Council, tourist operators, fossicking agents and community groups have been calling for new areas to be made accessible to fossickers,” Dr Lynham said.
“By giving general permission, fossickers only need a fossicking licence, and don’t have to also get written permission from the landholder to fossick.
“With this new area to explore, it opens up a world of opportunity for avid fossickers and metal detector enthusiasts to scan for gold and try their luck at unearthing new treasures.”
Isaac Regional Council described the move as a win for teamwork and people power.
Mayor Anne Baker said fossicking was a great tourism product in the Isaac region that brought significant economic benefit to the communities.
“We hope these new areas will attract visitors to the region by bringing economic and social benefits to Clermont,” she said.
“I would like to again reflect that this positive outcome is due to working together.”
Flat Diggings is in the current central gold fossicking district, once a gold mining district and focal point of one of Queensland’s major gold rushes.
Alluvial gold was discovered in creeks south of Clermont in 1861, sparking a rush that saw a hotel built in 1862 and the town of Clermont proclaimed the following year.
The area produced around 400,000 ounces of gold by 1956.
Eleven of the state’s 16 gold fossicking areas are in this Central Gold District, seven of which are in State Forests.
Fossickers require licences, which start at $8.50 plus GST for an individual for a month.