Historical information

This particular specimen was recovered from two hundred feet down in the Golden Mile in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The Golden Mile, named after the estimated sixty million ounces of gold worth around one hundred billion dollars, was the birthplace of the largest gold rush in Australia almost one hundred and thirty years ago when William Brookman and Samuel Pearce leased the Great Boulder mine. The Golden Mile is also the home of the Super Pit, Australia's most well-known mine.


The majority of gold deposits will form as a native metal, however, on occasion, it can form a compound with another element, in this case, sulphur. Therefore, this specimen is a rare example of gold naturally forming into a compound mineral with sulphur.

This specimen is part of a larger collection of geological and mineral specimens collected from around Australia (and some parts of the world) and donated to the Burke Museum between 1868-1880. A large percentage of these specimens were collected in Victoria as part of the Geological Survey of Victoria that begun in 1852 (in response to the Gold Rush) to study and map the geology of Victoria. Collecting geological specimens was an important part of mapping and understanding the scientific makeup of the earth. Many of these specimens were sent to research and collecting organisations across Australia, including the Burke Museum, to educate and encourage further study.

Physical description

A small gold-sulphide ore mineral specimen in shades of silver and grey with flecks of gold. Precious metals are often found in Sulphide Ores, as sulphides usually bind to these metals. They are also extremely symmetrical in crystaline form. Gold-Sulphide Ore occurs when gold forms a natural compound with other elements. In this form, gold can be present in one of two ways. It can be fully immersed in the sulphide, or a portion may be partially free. This specimen has minimal gold visible, with only a few flecks being partially visible.