North Flinders Mines Tanami Desert Callie pit


In 1992 during his time as the Northern Territory Minister for Mines & Energy Shane Stone accepted an invitation from Geoff Stewart to visit the Callie pit part of North Flinders Mines operations in the Tanami Desert, Central Australia. Geoff Stewart was the Founder and Managing Director of North Flinders Mines from 1969 to 1993. North Flinders Mines had by 1993 identified a portfolio of major gold deposits within their exploration and mining leases that went onto form the backbone of their Tanami operations. By 2012 these deposits contained an estimated 12 million ounces (total endowment); at the 2012 price of gold this represented a value greater than 20 billion dollars US. During the underground mine inspection Minister Stone viewed gold seams visible to the naked eye, a very rare experience. Generally anything reaching tenths of a gram of gold per tonne is interesting while half a gram is significant. Results over one gram are strong and over 5 grams usually makes for a successful mine. At Callie figures were in the tens of grams, some as high as 50 grams per tonne. Photograph shows the Callie primary ore, abundant coarse gold displaying on a face in the underground development - gold seams visible to the human eye. The biro pen gives an idea of scale. A once in a life time experience. Eventually the under ground mine gave way to an open cut mining operation.

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