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The airstrip at Cracow, Qld

old man emu

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Amazing coincidence!


I was flicking through Arthur Butler's book which relates the history of Australian civil aviation's first fifty years when I cam across this:

Concerned with the sorry plight of the industry, the Commonwealth in July 1933 decided to set aside the sum of £3000 to encourage the most deserving operators to remain in business by subsidizing the following services:

  Brisbane - Cracow

  Rockhampton - Mount Coolan

  Sydney - Bega

  Adelaide - Whyalla - Kimba - Cowell


As I mentioned in the thread  "No TV", I had seen Cracow in the early 1970s as a bit of a run-down, dying place in the middle of cattle country, and I checked it on Google Maps and found a large, abandoned airstrip. I wondered why it would have an air service. A bit more digging and I found a nugget.


In 1875 the town became known for gold. Sparking a century-long boom, at first prospectors came to try their luck in the fields. Then from 1931 to the mid 1970’s when it finally closed its holdings, the Golden Plateau Mine kept the workers coming. At its gold mining peak, the town included five cafes, barber shop, billiard saloon, two butchers, a picture theatre and a soft drink factory. The closure of the mine led to Cracow becoming a ghost town with many deserted houses and shops. In 2004, Newcrest Mine rekindled gold prospecting in the area, with the mine now operated by Aeris Resources. 



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The gold deposits of the Cracow district are localised within andesitic lavas, tuffs and coarse fragmentals of the NNW striking and roughly 25°W dipping early Permian (294 to 281 Ma) Camboon Andesite which forms the southern portion of the Camboon Volcanic Arc, which in turn is on the eastern margin of the Bowen Basin. 


Geology of the Cracow goldfield, showing the structural patterns of faults, veins and dykes, the distribution of alteration and the locations of the cross-sections shown in Figs. 3 and 4. Pit outlines are given by the grey polygons. Inset map provides the location of Cracow in South East Queensland.


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Sorry that the jargon confused you. All that was describing the rock types and what major geological feature they belong to. Andesite is the name of a family of fine-grained, extrusive igneous rocks that are usually light to dark gray in color. The Permian Age is the one before the Triassic. There was a major extinction event at the end of the end of the Permian and most of the amphibian land creatures and lots of sea creatures went extinct. The survivors evolved into the reptiles from whom the dinosaurs branched off. Camboon is a rural locality in the Shire of Banana, Queensland, Australia. 

Camboon is located in Queensland


So the gold is found in very, very ancient volcanic matgerial.

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On 4/2/2023 at 9:36 PM, Old Koreelah said:

Unusual straight veg lines across huge areas, indicating faultlines, folds….


Reminds me of the Peel Fault and associated cuestas running from Currabubula to Warialda and also the stark geological division running N-S in Zimbabwe.

That line in Zimbabwe is called the Great Dyke. I met one in Broken Hill.

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