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The gold mining town of Cracow in Queensland had all but given up hope of ever seeing mining take place in the town ever again after all the surface outcrops had been mined out. All the 'easy' gold had been taken and all visible veins followed and removed. However, with the advent of new technology, gold has been discovered once again , hidden gold well below the surface. Quite substantial deposits are once again being mined at Cracow.

Evolution Mining now own 100 Percent of the Cracow Gold Mine

A joint venture gold mining partnership of Newcrest and Evolution, decided to begin development of an underground operation at Cracow in 2002, as well as undertake upgrading and refurbishment of the existing treatment plant at the old discarded Cracow Gold Mine. Development on the new mine got underway in 2003 and by November 2004 the first gold was poured at Cracow for many a long year. In 2011 Evolution Mining Limited acquired 100 percent ownership of the Cracow Gold Mine.

Downer EDI Mining is the Contractor Operating the Cracow Gold Mine

Underground mining is carried out at the Cracow Mine by mining contracting firm Downer EDI Mining, with access gained via a decline. The mining operation takes the form of open stoping with downhole sub- level benching and waste rock used for backfill purposes. The mining fleet has been enlarged, the primary ventilation system has been upgraded and access to the lower Kilkenny orebody has been achieved in more recent years.

Treatment Plant to Handle 550,000 Tonnes of ore at Cracow Mine in 2013

The ore from the Cracow underground gold mine is located in steeply dipping epithermal fissure quartz veins of low sulphidation. It is free running and treated on site via traditional crushing, grinding and CIP processing that finishes up producing gold silver dore on site. The treatment plant is expected to handle 550,000 tonnes of ore in the financial year ending in 2013.

Two Kilometres to the Bottom of the Cracow Underground Mine

When the mine began production in 2004 the decline to the bottom travelled a distance of two kilometres underground where it split into a maze of tunnels and offshoots. All miners are taken from their jobs underground whenever blasting takes place and as soon as the dust settles they are on the job scooping up the loosened ore and taking it to the surface in haulage trucks that carry 40 tonnes at a time.

Much of the Gold is Invisible to the Naked eye

Much of the gold taken from the Cracow Gold Mine is invisible to the naked eye while it remains in the ore body as it is no more than 40 microns in size, the smallest size visible to humans is 100 microns. The average density is in the area of 12 grams a tonne, the highest being 1,400 grams a tonne. Most of the gold is associated with quartz and is quite thin and stands vertical. The vein can be anything from a mere few inches to 12 or 20 metres and can run for some considerable distance.

The ore taken to the surface is stockpiled on a pad from where it is taken to the crusher plant with front end loaders. After it is crushed it is taken to the mill and exposed to a cyanide leach process which extracts the gold from the ore.

Cracow Benefiting From the Resurgence of Mining in the Town

The little ghost town of Cracow is already deriving some benefit from gold mining returning to the town as the company has already built a new tennis court and a mining heritage centre through a community development fund it has created. It also offers scholarships to local school children and local indigenous people. The mine employs around 150 people through its contractor, Downer EDI Mining, either directly or through sub-contractors. Most workers are flown into work and flown out again at the completion of their shifts and are accommodated in camp accommodation when on roster.

Evolution Mining

Created in 2011 through a merger of Catalpa Resources Ltd and Conquest Mining Ltd and the concurrent acquisition of Newcrest Mining’s interests in the Cracow and Mt Rawdon mines, Evolution Mining is a leading, growth focused Australian Gold Company. Operating five gold & silver mines in...........read more


Evolution Mining
Level 3, 1 Altona Street
West Perth, WA 6005

PO Box 1300
West Perth, WA 6872



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