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Sunday, 5 February 2017

STAGGY CREEK GEM FOSSICKING AREA NEAR INVERELL NSW AUSTRALIA


Extract from "Diamonds in NSW"
Staggy Creek reserve is one of the few places in NSW where fossickers can go and have at least some chance of finding an alluvial diamond. It’s part of an extensive deep lead lying beneath the basalt, south of Inverell. Tin (cassiterite) was the main mineral being sought by miners in this area in the nineteenth century and diamonds were discovered during the search. This created a lot of interest at the time – and still does, judging by the amount of prospecting that has been going on during the last twenty years. Search DIGS (here) using “Staggy Creek” as the locality and you will be surprised.
There’s a lot of good background information in my Blog “Alluvial Diamond Mining in the New England Region of NSW Australia” (here) and especially in the NSW Geological Survey publication “Diamonds in New South Wales”. You can download a copy from DIGS; the reference number is R00047949.
I’ve been there just once, at least 25 years ago. All I can remember finding is pieces of black tourmaline, which are everywhere.
Here’s what the Inverell Tourism website (here) has to say about Staggy Creek:
Copeton diamonds - Australian Museum
The district’s rich volcanic soils can offer other gems and minerals. One such gem, is the amazing Diamond found near Copeton Dam; the Staggy Creek Fossicking Area provides a site where you can look for the Diamonds together with Black Tourmaline and Quartz. This is a rough dry area 28km from Inverell, you can take your water or dry sieve.
Contact Details: Copeton Dam Road (24km from the turn off Copeton Dam from Inverell)”      
This is what “Diamonds in NSW” has to say about the place.
Photo courtesy of Jewellery Pirate
The Staggy Creek deposit is an isolated area of diamond-bearing Tertiary gravels exposed at the surface. There is no basalt overlying the deposit and granite bedrock surrounds the Tertiary gravels. The granite is remarkable in that it contains a number of potholes of circular shape and its surface appears to be the surface on which the Tertiary sediments were deposited.
The deposit consists of quartz pebbles, cobbles and boulders ranging from 5mm to 0.2m in diameter, jasper, a relatively large amount of tourmaline (much of which is unabraded), topaz and garnet (which is invariably present in the diamond bearing gravels). Many of the quartz boulders contains pencil tourmaline. An ironstone band similar to those at Kirk’s Hill and the Banca is present.” Read page 52 of the report for a fuller description.
Mindat (here) includes a reference to Staggy Creek.
Photo courtesy of Jewellery Pirate
Staggy Creek lead, Copeton DamHardinge Co.New South WalesAustralia
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
29° 50' 5'' South , 150° 53' 5'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Map sheets: SH 56-5, 9038-II-N. Coordinates: 295600mE, 6697500mN.
Placer deposit.
Rather strangely, the Mindat list doesn’t include ‘tourmaline’, the most obvious mineral at Staggy Creek.
Here is a list of other resources you will find interesting.
Photo courtesy of Jewellery Pirate
Jewellery Pirate’s Blog (here). Thank you, JP, for the photographs of Staggy Creek.
An account of a visit by the Campelltown Lapidary Club (here).
Paul Clacher’s visit (here).
All Travels website (here).
World of Shiny Stuff website (here).