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The Ballarat Last Chance gold mine, 21 kilometres north east of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, has had a chequered existence having changed ownership many times in its recent past. When Aurion Gold was formed as a result of a merger between Goldfields Limited and Delta Gold in 1999 it was believed that would be the last ownership change for some time, but this was not to occur. Canadian firm Placer Dome came along and purchased all of Aurion Gold and in 2006 the worlds largest gold producer, Barrick Gold, acquired Placer Dome. It would have been reasonable to think that nobody could top Barrick Gold but there was still a further twist to the Ballarat Last Chance saga to play out. Barrick Gold decided to diverse itself of the Paddington Gold Mine along with its mill and feeder operations via an asset and share sale with Australian company Norton Goldfields. Part of the asset sharing was the right given to Norton Goldfields to mine the Greater Ballarat Last Chance mine, a feeder mine to the Paddington mill.

Barrick Gold Retained Ownership of Ballarat Last Chance

The Paddington Gold mine deal between Barrick Gold and Norton Goldfields included 291 mining tenements and mining leases. The tenements covering a 1,000 square kilometre area which encompassed several other pits and underground mines currently being developed besides that of the Ballarat Last Chance Gold mine. Barrick Gold, however, continues to be the owner of the Ballarat Last Chance mine.

A Part of the Kanowa Group of Mining Tenements

The Ballarat Last Chance mine, also known as the Golden Feather, is located almost two kilometres off Yarri Road that leads to the Kanowna group of gold mining operations in the area. The largest of these mines being the Kanowna Belle which started as an open pit in 1992 and is now an underground mine as are many of the others as they follow the ore body to greater depths.

The original Ballarat Last Chance ore body was accessed by an open pit. This pit is now closed and the mine is operated as an underground mine as are three other underground gold mines in the same area; Kundana, Kanowna and Kanowna Belle. Kundana is actually subdivided into three other mines namely, Hornet, Rubicon and Raeligh.

Sunday Times Newspaper of 1935 Reports Success at the Golden Feather Mine

The Sunday Times newspaper dated January 13, 1935, stated that the manager of the Golden Feather gold mine at Kanowna in Western Australia, had sunk a shaft to nine feet and discovered a high grade ore. He was reported as saying that one ton was hauled to the surface and a specimen was bagged. He said the reef averaged 12 inches in width. The underlay shaft of the main work sank five feet and the dish prospects gave 15dwt over 18 inches. He went on to report the Victoria shaft was now completed to water level. He also said the battery erection was proceeding satisfactorily.

Revival Began Again in 1989

Mining in the area declined after the second world war and it was not until 1989 when interest was once again aroused as the ore body at Kanowna doesn't outcrop above the surface as it does in many other places. In this particular area it is most likely to be found between 35 and 45 metres below the surface. The probable and proven reserve in the area in 2005 was reported as being 14.87Mt grading at 5.1g/t of gold. This gave it a total of 2.4Moz of recoverable gold.

Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold Corporation dates back to 1983 with its first acquisition of Renabie Gold mine in Northern Ontario. Expanding in 1994, Barrick acquired Lac Minerals, giving the company interests in Canada, United States and Chile. In 2000 Barrick acquired Pangea Goldfields, a mining more


Barrick Gold
Level 9 125 George Terrace
Perth, WA 6000


Phone08 6318 5777

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