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Silver

 Silver, smelted from chlorargyrite (a chloro-bromide- secondary mineral form the oxidised zone) from St Arnaud, Victoria (Scale: specimens 1-2 cm)

Silver has been mined intermittently as a by-product of gold in Victoria, in particular, when the price of silver has been high.

Silver is found alloyed naturally with gold (electrum, AuAg), in solid solution in galena, as silver sulphides and chlorides and, less commonly, as native silver. Native silver has been found in small specks and filaments at St Arnaud, Glendhu and Omeo.

Silver is found alloyed with gold on most of the goldfields, and accounts for differences in fineness (purity) of the gold from different fields.

The silver chlorides cerargyrite (AgCl) and embolite [Ag (Br,Cl)] have been found at St Arnaud, and jamesonite (Pb,Ag)4FeSb6S14 in lodes near Omeo. Silver-bearing galena, which can contain up to one per cent or more of silver, is common in Victorian lead deposits.

There is silver in the Wilga and Currawong volcanic-hosted massive sulphide deposits in the Limestone Creek area northeast of Omeo. In addition to copper and zinc, the Wilga deposit  produced 13,228 kg of silver from 956,980 tonnes of ore. The yet-to-be-mined copper-zinc Currawong deposit contains relatively high silver grades. Nearby at Deddick there is a series of approximately 80 silver-bearing quartz-galena veins.

Incomplete records suggest that total silver production in Victoria amounted to hundreds of tonnes of ore, but there appear to have been few sales of silver concentrates.

Return to Victorian metals index page

Further information

To create your own maps online and in real time, plan exploration activities by viewing land status, or download GIS data to add to your own maps, visit GeoVic.Map: Silver in Victoria.