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Central gold district

The Bottom Apsley fossicking general permission area will be permanently closed from 1 March 2018.

The discovery of alluvial gold in gullies south of Clermont in 1861 triggered one of Queensland's major gold rushes. Today, the old gold mining district surrounding Clermont attracts interest from fossickers and metal detector enthusiasts.

Fossickers require a fossicking licence in all areas and must comply with the special conditions of access (see below).

If you have any questions about fossicking, contact the local mining registrar.


There are 9 separate general permission areas in the Clermont area where landholders have given general permission for fossicking.



Camping is not permitted. There is a range of accommodation facilities in Clermont.

Fossicking notes

Gold occurs in a range of settings in the district. The primary source is numerous lode gold deposits, mostly quartz reefs, in the Anakie Metamorphic Group. Only a small number of these were economic to work.

More important were deep leads in old conglomerates (gravels) of Permian age, which overlie the metamorphics. These have usually been interpreted as ancient buried streams in which alluvial gold shed from the lodes has accumulated. Nuggets in excess of 15g were common and some specimen gold occurred in quartz-rich clasts. Other deep leads were located in late Tertiary alluvial deposits, in linear belts cutting across the present drainage pattern.

Finally there were the alluvial deposits of modern-day streams, derived from gold shed from older deposits.

The deep leads produced the most gold.

The gold of interest to modern fossickers is primarily from the young alluvial material, as well as eluvial deposits formed when gold or gold-bearing rock fragments have been transported short distances from their sources, and concentrated within the soil horizon.

Some older Tertiary wash on the edges and tops of interfluves may also be of interest. Some nuggets may have formed in these environments by chemical accretion of small gold particles into larger fragments or through the chemical action of host soils or sediments on a gold solution.

Panning is the simplest recovery method for the finer alluvial gold. However, the scarcity of water may preclude panning during dry periods. Dry blowing methods may be employed.

Special conditions

  • Fossicking must only occur within the general permission area as per the attached map.
  • Fossickers must not enter private property.
  • Use only safe working practices.
  • Hand tools only are permitted (including metal detectors). Educator dredges, sluices, dry blowers or machinery of any other type are not permitted.
  • The use of generators is not permitted.
  • Do not interfere with or fossick within 10 metres of any stock, infrastructure or improvements (including but not limited to fences, water bores, pump equipment, telecommunication towers, electricity transmitting towers, and gas, oil, or water pipelines).
  • Remain at least 100 metres from registered apiary sites (whether hives are present or not). Apiary sites are indicated by signage.
  • Carry all water supplies. No permanent potable water supply is available, and no water may be taken from dams, water bores, pump equipment, etc.
  • Ensure children are supervised by an adult at all times. Hazards include old workings.
  • Leave gates as they are found (i.e. if gate is open – leave it open, if gate is closed, then open it to gain access then close immediately ensuring no animals pass through while open).
  • Do not interfere with any vegetation, stock or wildlife.
  • Keep noise and dust to a minimum.
  • Where dogs are permitted, they must be on a lead and under control at all times. Dogs are not to cause nuisance, or annoy other visitors, stock or wildlife. All dog faeces must be removed from the area and disposed of legally.
  • All rubbish (including organics) must be removed from the area and disposed of legally.
  • As no ablution facilities are available, bury human toilet waste in a hole dug into the topsoil at least 10-15cm deep and 100m away from watercourses (or any body of water) or walking tracks. Please fill, cover and disguise the hole.
  • Do not excavate at the toe of the bank of a stream or in a gully.
  • Do not excavate an earth face or create overhangs on steep land or river banks.
  • Ensure excavations do not exceed dimensions of 2 metres x 1 metre and a depth of 0.5 metre. Refill excavations immediately after use to make them safe for other visitors and stock and contour excavations to the surrounding land surface. Replace material that came from depth at depth, and replace surface material on the surface.
  • Keep motor vehicles to formed roads and tracks only, and bring no other machinery.
  • Fires are not permitted and should not be lit under any circumstances in a State forest or regional park (resource use area).
  • Comply with any directions given by a sign or notice or by a QPWS or authorised officer.


Contact one of our mining offices for any fossicking enquiry.

Fossicking rules and licences

A fossicking licence is required in Queensland. Make sure you follow the fossicking rules and observe the basic principles of safe fossicking.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
8 March 2018
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