A French prospector and former army soldier who claimed to have discovered one of Australia’s biggest gold mines has died at the age 80.
Jean-Paul Turcaud died in La Rochelle in south-western France this week, 50 years after he claimed to have across the mineral deposit on the site that later became Telfer Mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
He unsuccessfully fought many years to be officially recognised for his disputed discovery, which mining giant Newmont claims to have found two years later in 1972.
Mr Turcaud served as a second lieutenant in the French Army before he immigrated to Australia in the late 1960s.
He spent time exploring the remote Great Sandy Desert alone and in October 1970, came across a huge deposit in the Patterson Range region on the site that would become a multi-million mine producing gold and copper.