Gold in Australia

In 1823 James McBrien found traces of gold near Bathurst, NSW. However, early discoveries of gold in Australia were hushed up by the authorities for fear that all the convicts, soldiers and public servants would stop work to hunt for their fortune.

In 1841, the Rev. WB Clarke found a gold nugget near Cox's River in the Blue Mountains, NSW. When he showed the gold to Governor Gipps, the Governor said, 'Put it away, Mr Clarke or we shall all have our throats cut!'

It wasn't until ten years later, in 1851, that Edward Hargraves, (who had just returned from the gold fields in California) and his colleagues found gold near Bathurst. This time the find was publicised and within a month a thousand men were looking for gold. The area was called Ophir, after the biblical story about King Solomon's gold city.

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