Looking inside a gold mine
WHEN the gold mine at Mount Rawdon opened its gates to visitors last week, the Central and North Burnett Times jumped at the opportunity to see its inner workings.
The tour started with an orientation session at nearby Mount Perry.
Evolution Mining is a fixture at community events, and residents are keen to discover what the 260 mining employees are doing on the hill that overlooks town.
With an abundance of huge machinery, and thunderous explosions as deposits are blasted for ore, the mine is usually off limits to the general public.
In the past 12 months the mine produced 3299kg of gold, but finding gold was no easy task - about 6.69 million cubic metres of material was mined to extract that quantity of the precious metal.
Our group took its first stop next to two mechanical behemoths.
Three children on the tour gazed skyward, in awe of the gigantic excavator and dump truck.
Tour guide Jarrod Widmark led the group higher up the mountain to see the open-cut mine.
It resembled a landscape from science fiction, an enormous grey hole known by workers as "the pit".
Although our tour group had been dwarfed by machinery earlier on, now the dump trucks looked like toys as they climbed the road on the edges of the pit.
The mine is 235m deep, but Mr Widmark says it will eventually go another 150m into the ground. "There used to be a mountain here," he said.
"After the flood, it took four months non-stop to pump out the water.
"Water was 30m high in the pit."