Metals

A piece of molybdenite which is dark brow and gold in colour.

Precious metals

Victoria is a world-renowned gold province and is also prospective for silver and platinum group metals.

Gold production from Victoria’s thirteen goldfields accounts for two per cent of all the gold that has been mined throughout the world.

Many of these old goldfields offer opportunities to reopen mines or find totally new deposits through modern exploration techniques.

Base metals

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.

Metallic minerals in Victoria

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 pages 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.

Map showing metal occurrences in Victoria. Most metals are associated with gold. Major fields are in central western Victoria between Ballarat, Bendigo and St Arnaud. Additional goldfields are at Stawell and Ararat (western Victoria), between Woods Point and Walhalla (south east Victoria) and in the Beechworth, Rutherglen, Chiltern and Omeo regions in north east Victoria. There is a sparse scattering of other metals across the state of various ages and affinities related to intrusive rocks and sedimentary basins.

Page last updated: 13 May 2019