Lucky strike in outback WA could spark ‘mini gold rush’ for prospectors and miners – by Jarrod Lucas (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – September 12, 2018)

Prospectors and exploration companies seeking to strike it rich have been re-energised by the discovery of rare gold specimens at a mine in outback Western Australia.

Some are saying it could spark a “mini gold rush” for a town down on its luck. In the days since the spectacular find at Kambalda, 630 kilometres east of Perth, a wave of excitement has washed over the nickel mining town which has been on its knees in recent times.

One exploration company holding ground adjacent to the Beta Hunt mine, where $15 million worth of gold-encrusted rocks were found 500 metres below the surface, has already been inundated with calls. It is just the tonic for Kambalda — a tight-knit community built on the discovery of Australia’s first nickel mine in 1966 — which has been hit by hundreds of job losses with the closure of four major mines in three years.

Town loses GP clinic, bank, petrol station

The mine closures decimated the playing ranks of the Kambalda Football Club, which lost 49 games in a row until breaking a three-year drought in July. Kambalda residents have also had to deal with the loss of the local doctors’ surgery and the town’s only bank branch.

Last week Kambalda’s only petrol station was closed for four months for renovations, forcing residents to drive 60km to Kalgoorlie-Boulder to fill up. But the town — population 2,539, according to the last census — finally has some light at the end of the tunnel with news of the major gold discovery.

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