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Mintabie South Australia
About Mintabie Opal Info
Travelling North from Coober Pedy along the Stuart Highway for a further 239Klm is the tiny Outback Township of Marla. Mostly Marla is a Roadhouse where fuel and essential grocery items may be purchased. The turn off to Mintabie is located on the northern end of the Town. Turn left and travel a further 35Klm to the General Store at Mintabie. The old Opal workings are mostly to the south; local knowledge is essential, ask at the General Store for information.
Opal Fossicking: Mintabie
Camping
Some camping is available, enquire at the General Store, otherwise bush camp out on the field taking care not to infringe upon someone's lease or claims. You need to be self sufficient in all things; some fuel and general supplies are available at the General Store.
Where to Fossick / Noodle
Noodling / Fossicking consists' of working through the abandoned mine dumps checking for bits of coloured potch. This can't be rushed as it requires care digging over the dumps, squirting potential finds with water and inspecting the favoured pieces of potch. Generally the Opal is found in the darker coloured lost as this was obtained from the deeper productive areas of the mines. Early miners were looking for big chunks of material where today the hobbyist is satisfied with relatively small pieces. Crazing is a problem with Opal found in this way as it is baked and dried out in the sun; however, it is still possible to find some significant pieces.
Vehicle Access
4WD vehicles are recommended as the roadway from the Stuart Highway to Mintabie can be very rough indeed, its condition varies depending upon the season and when last graded, ask at Marla, Roadhouse before proceeding.


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