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Unread 2nd September 2013, 07:40 AM
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Default Exploring old mines

One of my hobbies is exploring old mine in the Australian bush so I thought I would post some of my finds on the off chance others share this hobby and want to add some of their finds.
Here is some pics from some mines near Reefton in the Warburton area Victoria. There were 2 tunnels in the 50-100m length along with 2 others that had collapsed entrances.



Diversion tunnel on the upper Yarra river near reefton


Antimony mine, Pyrites State Forest/Lerderderg State Park, Victoria


North Sultan Mine, Barrys Reef, Blackwood Area. This is a more modern gold mine operated up until the 1980s im guessing. It is a very deep shaft


Another Mine in the Barrys reef area. A very very long tunnel
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Unread 2nd September 2013, 09:08 AM
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Very cool! That's an incredibly interesting way to explore and get a feel for the areas history.
We've yet to work up the courage to check out the old mining shafts where we ride in Southern West Virginia, where there's a few old ones.

What's the most interesting/odd thing you've seen in an old mine?
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Unread 2nd September 2013, 11:14 AM
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I was out riding with my brother one time, and we came across a mine. He decided to go in and explore a bit, while I decided to stay safe outside

He explored a bit on one level, then climbed down an old wooden ladder to another level. After just a bit of exploring, he found some old dynamite.

He cautiously but quickly got out of there.
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Unread 2nd September 2013, 11:22 AM
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Very cool hobby
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Unread 2nd September 2013, 11:36 AM
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Just be careful when exploring old mine shafts, i just recently went to Colorado in the Telluride and Ouray area and there are 100's of mine shafts just about all are blocked off because of the dangers of people exploring them, one main reason is bad air, lot of the air shafts are collapsed and no fresh air get to move in them, take couple of breaths before you even know it you are passed out. I love to explore old mine shafts but most are still considered private land owned my some company.
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Unread 2nd September 2013, 11:38 AM
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http://mining.state.co.us/Programs/A...chureFINAL.PDF
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Unread 2nd September 2013, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NachaLuva View Post
Very cool hobby
Yes, probably no warmer than 18C down there
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Unread 3rd September 2013, 01:12 AM
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Hey Dedman you need to read dajeepman's post before you end up a dead man
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Unread 3rd September 2013, 01:59 AM
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Every thing you do has some level of risk. I just decide to draw the line somewhat higher than others tend to.
In saying that, when exploring old mines I don't do so unprepared or light heatedly. These are the rules I follow to limit the risk;
  • Always carry good lights and back ups and back ups of backups
  • This one is very important for anyone in the bush: Think about what you are stepping on when walking anywhere. Small shafts can easily be covered by sticks and vegetation so make sure what you are stepping on is solid before applying weight.
  • Wear a helmet (although I am often pretty slack with this one because I seems to stumble on mines when least expecting it)
  • I always assess the stability of any mine and if it looks dodgy I stay clear.
  • If I need to climb down anything I always use a rope or harness and never climb on anything left/constructed by miners without being securely attached to something.
  • If the air starts to get stale then I don't proceed.
  • I don't go deep into mines unless I can sense air flow.
  • Never go near coal mines (although there are pretty much no underground coal mines in Aust)
In saying this it is still quite risky but that is a decision I choose to make. IMO life without risk would be no life at all.


Compared to the USA, Australia has very little in the way of deep mines that haven't been closed off or still in operation but I am forever looking


I actually spend far more time walking around the bush finding mines and looking at mining sites than actually in mines. I get real enjoyment out of trying to get my head around how these early miner did what they did as well as checking out all the old mining equipment that is left lying around.


I think the most interesting thing I have come across is just how small some of the hand dug tunnels are (through pretty much solid rock and not wide enough in any direction to even come close to swinging a pickaxe)
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Unread 3rd September 2013, 03:38 AM
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You have better luck at this than me, All the mines I've ever found are OLD vertical shaft mines, almost always missing caps that have fallen in. most of the time the grounds around them is so unstable i don't feel safe being closer then 10 meters from the shafts, all but one were easily 10 plush meters deep. With that one exception more than likely being the cap had only managed to fall in a meter or two.

Have you got the northings n eastings for some of these?

I'm with you on the risk dedman! some of the place's i've been mtbing once home i've thought if i fell there i'd probably be dead right now, I want to do more caving but havent really found many close by.

Other than limited risk's you mentioned, If i've had phone reception i usually sms someone my coordinates before doing anything a bit daring, and as part of my choice If i can't do something like that I'll personally choose to leave it alone.

I love the alternative use for a snatch strap haha

Last edited by idw; 3rd September 2013 at 03:45 AM.
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