Bell creek was the richest alluvial deposit in the district and was first discovered by the Campbell brothers and the best claim was on Betts claim. Betts was later manager of the Devon mine at Five mile rise. and his claim produced the fields largest nugget at 22 oz, many 10 oz and lots of 3 oz. Not 5 oz like some people (Jack beltane) pretend to know about. The nuggets larger than split pea size are rounded on top and flat on the bottom like a cabochon. I have been lucky enough to find a nugget embedded in the Silurian sandstone with fossil remains. I was told by Roger Smith (Geo) the other fossil like it was under black bluff. So the gold may have come down that way before the Tabberabberan Orogeny and fell into a crack in the sandstone and was covered and set over.
anyway, I made my wedding ring out of that nugget.
Access is Easy to Moderate to Challenging depending on way in. There are 5 ways into the field, perhaps more.
The easiest is the gate just before the first house on the right driving down to the dam wall. You can drive 2wd to within 20 meters of the creeks. it goes past the blue homestead and up into the junction of the Creeks
The field can also be accessed via the Wilmot dam road walking past the hydro gate and an approx 3km walk down and up and over the west spur. The bottom of the road is very open walking, Heading over the hill its mostly Tee Tree and Gum with some wattle. The land was fenced for livestock in the past, but is now recovering. That track once you crest the ridge and decend 100 meters or so opens up in to cleared land with mullock heaps and tailings. A bench terrace was worked approx 10 meters above the present water course.
There is one shaft i explored in the main terrace workings that cuts a small lead at shallow depth approx 9 feet down is a tad crumbly with not much roof. so caution is needed. your underground.
Again the same road but turn up Bell Creek itself at the Bridge. This is a hard traverse at first but opens up into easier open walking 100 meters upstream of the bridge
Across from Brayburn Tree and Alpaca farm, The fence is down and after crossing a large fallen tree the water race to the field is directly in front of you, Follow that and i drop down at the blue Homestead and follow basalt creek into the field.
lastly and most challenging is the top quarry and down. This descends into an adit worked for copper and perhaps gold in the bell mountain porphyry. The vegetation is thick and unforgiving but eventually leads to the Dam. Some fine gold is found in most places. But the nuggets run out at the top branches of bell creek and where all found on the West Spur and its terraces and at betts.
Bedrock can be the black decomposed limestone towards the dam on betts claim to sandstone then into basalt and the junction of Mosquito Creek, Basalt Creek, Poverty Creek and Bell Creek Proper. The black puggy decomposed limestone is saturated with iron pyrite i presume from the unnamed mine 80 meters or so above.
this field has been flogged but still produces the odd nugget. Mostly pea size or split pea so the majority of detectors will pick them up at not too great a depth.
i will start getting maps done on each area when i get time.
Betts claim is under current mining lease and permissions will need to be sought. Frontier resources / Torque mining have the exploration tenement on most of the area from the lea river South to Bull creek. The Hydro also have tenements in the catchment.
*There are open shafts in the area, so care is needed.
Tasmanian North West and West Coast Range regional Geology
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