“Mr. Hargraves states as the result of his observations, that from the foot of the Big Hill to a considerable distance below Wellington, on the Macquarie, is one vast gold field, that he has actually discovered the precious metal in numberless places, and that indications of its existence are to be seen in every direction.”
When Edward Hargaves announced news of his discovery of a vast goldfield across central west NSW in 1851, few would have guessed that he had massively underestimated the true extent of the gold bearing region.
By 1868, it was becoming apparent that the whole of south west NSW along the Lachlan Fold Belt was in effect a massive goldfield. It was during this year that the impetus provided by the major investments in the Grenfell field spread outwards as new reef gold mining operations sprang up across the region.
That there was gold in abundance was clear beyond measure. The only problem was that sometimes there was a bit too much rock mixed in with it.