Victoria’s Diverse Mineral Endowment
In addition to gold, numerous other metals have been or are being mined in Victoria. These include antimony, zinc, copper, tin, silver, iron and molybdenum. In many cases, these minerals are a by-product of gold mining.
The mine at Costerfield is Australia’s only antimony producing operation. The antimony is extracted from the gold-bearing quartz veins which are hosted in Silurian siltstone.
The gold-antimony-bearing quartz veins around the Costerfield site have been worked on and off since 1860. The most active periods were between 1860 and 1883, as well as between 1904 and 1925. From 1934 to 1997 exploration work and small scale mining continued in the area. During exploration work undertaken between 1969 and 1977 the Augusta deposit was identified, this became the focus of the mines current activities which have been worked since 2006.
Stibnite, the principal ore for antimony is also found in the Ballarat, Bendigo and Fosterville gold fields, although historically stibnite was discarded as a waste product during gold mining. See the Antimony Fact Sheet for more information.
Zinc has also been found in Victoria, although most of the State’s production was from a single deposit in the far-east of the state at Wilga near Limestone Creek. This site produced 16,894 tonnes of zinc between 1993 and 1996 when the site was being worked primarily for the copper and silver found in the ore.
There has also been sporadic silver mining in Victoria although mainly as a by-product of gold mining.
At St Arnaud, Glendhu and Omeo Native silver has been found in small specks and filaments. The silver chlorides cerargyrite and embolite have been found at St Arnaud, and jamesonite in lodes near Omeo. In Victoria’s lead deposits it is common to find silver-bearing galena. Silver has also been found in the volcanic associated massive sulphide deposits in Wilga, Currawong and in the Limestone Creek area northeast of Omeo. Mining took place at the Wilga deposit between 1993 and 1996.
Another significant mineral resource to be developed in Victoria are mineral sands. Mineral sands are ancient beach sands that contain concentrations of minerals including rutile, ilmenite, zircon and monazite as well as other rare earth elements. It is estimated that Victoria’s mineral sand deposits contain eight million tonnes of rutile and six million tonnes of zircon. The Murray Basin, the centre for mineral sands activity, holds significant deposits. More than 60 million tonnes of coarse-grained mineral sand deposits and more than 200 million tonnes of fine-grained deposits have been identified to date.
---------- Mandalay Resources (2012) The Costerfield Gold-Antimony Mine http://www.mandalayresources.com/index.cfm?pagepath=Geography/Australia/__Costerfield_Mine&id=20485
 Weston, K.S., 1992. Minerals of Victoria. Geological Survey of Victoria Report 92
 Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries: Zinc Fact Sheet http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/minerals/metals/zinc
 Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (2012), Earth Resources, Silver http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/minerals/metals/silver
 Enever, J. (2007) ‘Another Broken Hill’: The Mount Deddick Silver-Lead Field;Journal of Australasian Mining History, Vol. 5, September
 Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (2012), Earth Resources, Platinum Group metals http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/minerals/metals/platinum
 Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries: Mineral Sands Fact Sheet http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/minerals/industrial-minerals/a-z-of-industrial-minerals/mineral-sands