Sunday, 18 September 2011

Lookout, lunatic!

Views of Lunatic Hill Open Cut
There are various fees and charges associated with any claim but miners pay a far more substantial bond (and higher total fees) before commencing an open cut.

Effectively the bond is to ensure the great, gaping holes in the earth are refilled at the conclusion of the mining effort.  I am not sure of the exact process but in simple terms the bond is returned when the overburden has been restored to its original location.

So what happened at Lunatic Hill?  As you can see, one of the signs advises that the open cut has been  "... preserved as a unique part of Australia's opal mining heritage."  Interesting.

When we had chatted with Brian (who lives on the other side of the open cut) earlier in the week he told a different story.  Seemingly, the Lunatic Hill miners had an informal agreement with a local property owner to store the overburden on his land.  He had died by the time they wanted to re-fill the open cut and the new owner refused permission for the overburden to be removed from his land - so the open cut remained, er, open!

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