New mining and exploration technology and increasing gold prices may provide opportunities to re-open mines in many of the historic Victorian goldfields and to find more gold close to existing deposits.
Victorian base metal ores contain copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum and nickel. Following several significant discoveries of these, Victoria is emerging as a new base metal province. Base metal occurrences are known throughout the State and prospectivity under alluvial cover in the State’s northwest is particularly strong.
Much of the recent exploration for base metals has been driven by a growing understanding of geological links between parts of Victoria and metal provinces in both Tasmania and New South Wales. A strong future is predicted for base metal production in Victoria.
At present, the only significant base metal mine in Victoria is the Wilga operation near Benambra in the northeast of the State. Wilga is currently the focus of renewed exploration effort to expand the resource.
Other metals that have been mined commercially in Victoria are silver, tin and antimony. Most of the production of these metals has been as by-products of gold mining.
The following pages cover the main known occurrences of metallic minerals in Victoria and discuss their history of production and future prospectivity.
Acknowledgement: Mineral specimens photographed for these webpages are part of the Museum Victoria and Geological Survey of Victoria mineral collections. We would like to thank Museum Victoria for providing access and advice.
Metal occurrences in Victoria