The search for payable gold in northeast Tasmania

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The end of convict transportation to Tasmania in 1853 meant a loss of imperial funding and free labour. This, together with other factors, mainly the loss of free labour to those colonies experiencing gold rushes, particularly Victoria, plunged Tasmania into an economic depression from about 1856 to about 1870.[1] The efforts to restore economic prosperity included the search for payable gold.

However, the search for payable gold pre-dated the depression. In December 1851 Joseph Milligan visited northeast Tasmania and found the area between Ben Lomond and Fingal to consist of "ridges of hard clay-slate... interlaminated also with quartz, and doubtless highly metalliferous, as it is probable much of the north-east portion of Van Diemen's Land will ultimately prove to be..."[2]





The People

Joseph Milligan

William Beauclerc Otway



See also



  1. Reynolds, Henry 2012, A history of Tasmania, Cambridge Melbourne Cambridge University Press
  2. Royal Society of Tasmania, (1852) Proceedings of the monthly meetings of The Royal Society for January to December 1851. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 2 (1). pp. 138-172. ISSN 0080-4703 [1]

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