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Mining News

News from Coober Pedy

Oct 13 2022News From My 2022 Trip to Coober Pedy

Where to start…As I write this it’s October 13, 2022 today… looking back on my May/June 2022 trip to Australia hoping to concisely report on opal worthy news in this lonely, although beautiful, isolated section of the Australian outback.  After… more

Aug 20 2019High Resolution Resistivity: A New Opal Exploration Tool

Published in MESA Journal 41 April 2006 I ran into this treatise while looking for maps of the Coober Pedy Opalfields and found it interesting.  I’ve never heard of any Coober Pedy opals miners using this technique but nevertheless found… more

Dec 19 2018September 2018 Trip News

I noticed a few new younger opal miners this year…not just the usual baby boomer miners in the 55 to 70 year old age group.  And opal prices in Coober Pedy were just as high as last year, if not… more

Nov 24 2017Seems Like A Bit More Opal To Be Found In Coober Pedy

Posted 11/24/2017 I was in Coober Pedy from September 17th to September 24th 2017.  And I was fortunate to find several very nice parcels of rough opal direct from the opal miners.  Compared to my May 2016 trip to Oz… more

Mar 18 2017New Shellpatch Opalfield Opal Rush!!!

It’s been a while since good opal mining news has come out of Coober Pedy.  But thankfully a closed portion of Shellpatch Opalfield has been reopened. In 1977 part of the Coober Pedy Precious Stones Field, really portions of the… more

Nov 27 2016Coober Pedy Opal Pricing And Mining Forecast-2016

Big opal finds prove elusive in Australia The Straits Times Published Sep 25, 2016, 5:00 am SGT Thirteen years ago, opal miner John Dunstan was digging in an old shaft in a remote region in central Australia when he struck… more

Nov 21 2016News From Coober Pedy May 2016

Heading northwest after leaving Lighting Ridge, on my way to Coober Pedy, I ran into 3 days of cool, rainy, windy weather.  So It was a delight to pull into Coober Pedy with warm sunny skies.   I love Coober Pedy…the… more

Sep 01 2012Productive trip to Coober Pedy

I had a very productive trip to Coober Pedy, Lambina and Mintabie during our May 2012 trip to Australia to buy opals. When I arrived in Coober I was VERY suprised to find a good supply of rough opal for… more

Aug 04 2011Donna’s Rush Opal Field Discovery

Very interesting news from Coober Pedy! In the far north of the Coober Pedy Precious Stones Field a new opal deposit has been found by John Dunston and his mining partner Paul Reynolds. John recalled finding opal floaters in this… more

Jan 17 2011News From Coober

Didn’t make it to Australia in 2010 as we took an opal buying trip to Ethiopia…to see first hand where the opals are found and what the opal supply is like coming out of Welo province. But I’ve heard much… more

Nov 14 2007Radiation Levels May Lead to Better Opal Exploration

Two noted Australian scientists may have developed a method to scientifically prospect for precious Australian opal. Dr. Brian Senior and Professor Lewis Chatterton have spent 20 years developing a technique that uses the low level natural radioactivity, from uranium and… more

News from Lambina

Sep 01 2012This years trip to Oz

During this years trip to Oz I rented a beautiful 4wd Toyota Landcruiser Ute for the rugged drive to Lambina. It’s about 235km from Coober to Marla then another 45km on a narrow single lane track through the outback on… more

News from Lightning Ridge

Jan 01 2011Made it to the Grawin Opal Field

Made it to the Grawin Opal Field during my 2009 buying trip. Was able to find quite a lot of low grade opal and a nice parcel of high grade material, but very little in between. Production seems to be… more

News from Mintabie

Mar 27 2020Mintabie Is Closing…Final Word…So Sad!

Updated 3/22/2020 Looks like it’s over in Mintabie.  Mintabie township has been closed and evacuated.  The land where the opal mining town of Mintabie resides has been leased by the South Australian State Government from the APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatara… more

Nov 23 2018Encouraging News About Mintabie

ABC North and West By Patrick Martin, Paul Culliver and Gary-Jon Lysaght Updated 1 Nov 2018, 6:29pm Uncertainty surrounding the future of a South Australian opal mining town is impacting upon the international trade of the precious gemstone.  Mintabie in the state’s far north west is… more

Jul 26 2013Big Diggings at Old Field Mintabie

2012 Mintabie: Spent some time visiting with old friends Patsy and Dan Tucker at their camp in Mintabie and they told us we really needed to go see the new diggings at the “Old Field”.  So we did.  It was… more

Sep 01 2011A whole lot of new digging

A whole lot of new digging happening at the “Old Field” workings. Test drilling had found opal below the levels previously worked at this opalfied, so huge D9 Caterpillars were removing the overburden to get down the the opal level.… more

Jan 10 2011Five Mining Groups for Opals

Latest news from Mintabie is there are maybe 5 mining groups mining for opal amongst the several fields in Mintabie: Grasshopper Ridge, Goose Gully, Airport, Crystal Valley, kingfisher and Old Field. A new law went into effect July 2010 restricting… more

News from Welbourne Hill

Jan 01 2011No news on Welbourne Hill

No news on Welbourne Hill. It appears that although some very nice black gem opals have been found here…the ground is just too hard for conventional opal mining equipment.

News from Welo Ethiopia

Nov 21 2022Welo Opal Export News

Updated 11/23/2022 Recently there was a renewal of the old hostilities between the TPLF (Tigray Peoples Liberation Front) and the Ethiopian government which has negatively affected Welo opal production.   And lately the Ethiopian government has relaxed the opal export requirements… more

Sep 19 2021Ethiopian Opal Exports News Update

Updated September 23 2021: A concern which affects the Ethiopian precious opal industry at present is the TPLF insurrection that has spread south from the Tigrayan region in the north of Ethiopia to central Ethiopia and into north Welo Province… more

Jun 07 2020New Ethiopian Welo Opal Mining Locations

Updated 6/7/2020 The old mining areas near Delanta/Wegal Tena are now completely played out…fortunately 3 new mining areas nearby, Beska, Koki Weha and Tana are producing a lot of crystal and some gray base opal.  It appears, from the photos… more

Mar 16 2020A Little News On Ethiopian Opal Mines

Updated 3/16/2020 The latest information from Ethiopia is that the original mining areas near WegalTena and Delanta are becoming worked out and dangerous.  Fortunately new areas nearby, from the same geologic structure, named Tana Addis Gedel and Abo Bettach are… more

Jun 27 2017New Twist On Ethiopia’s Welo Opal Exports

New Twist on Rough Opal Exports-Updated 27 June 2017 Recently Ethiopia has instituted a new export regulation: Any rough opal leaving or being exported from Ethiopia must be accompanied by 50% (by weight) of finished or cut opals.  As an… more

Dec 07 2016Ethiopian Opal-by Gregory Kratch-The GemGuide

Courtesy of The GemGuide September/October 2016 For nearly a decade now, the new find of opal in Ethiopia has been both welcomed and debated on issues of stability and high water content. Some of the material can be quite beautiful… more

Nov 19 2013Rough Welo Opals Take a Drastic Price Increase

Updated 11/19/2013 We have been informed by our Welo opal supplier In Addis Ababa that rough Welo opal can again be exported.  Unfortunately the ban reversal comes with a VERY large increase in opal prices.  The Ministry of Mines is… more

Nov 19 2013Export Ban On Rough Welo Opal Reversed

Updated 11/19/2013 The Ministry of Mines (MoM) is backtracking on its plan to ban rough gem exports during the 2013/14 fiscal year. It is also lifting the May 2012 export ban on raw tantalum, in order to increase the export… more

Mar 03 2013Ethiopian government has announced a ban on all rough opal exports

The Ethiopian government has announced a ban on all rough opal exports expected to take effect the first week of July. Below is an article Written by Meron Tekleberhan. Wednesday, 16 January 2013 10:52 Ethiopia is to ban the export… more

Mar 01 2011Opal production has been stable for 2010

Opal production has been stable for 2010 with a few new mining areas found along the river gorge cliffs below Delanta in Welo Province. But during the week of January 25th 2011 approximately 80 illegal opal miners were arrested and… more