The Hill End-Tambaroora Gold Field was one of the richest gold mining areas in NSW, and the first reef mining area in Australia.
Gold was discovered in 1851 at Golden Gully, when prospectors worked their way north east from Ophir, where the first alluvial gold mining in Australia had commenced a few months previously.
Gold mining licences were introduced in May 1851; they cost 30 shillings per month and were only issued for alluvial gold.
During 1851-1852, a miner called Collinson crushed reef gold to pass it off as alluvial gold.
He eventually won the right to mine ‘gold in matrix’ from the line of country between the Turon River and Dirt Hole Creek.
The Beyers and Holtermann nugget, the largest single piece of reef gold ever discovered in the world, was found in the Star of Hope mine on Hawkins Hill on 19 October 1872. It weighed about 286kg, and was worth at least £12 000 at the time
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