A week out with APLA

Moneybox

Philip & Sandra Box
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
3,316
Reaction score
13,691
Location
Cue, WA
Earlier this year we had an offer from a mining company to check out one of their "E" leases just south of Meekatharra. When I broke a tooth a few weeks back and had to take the 115km trip to the dentist I packed the bus and went prepared to do a little exploration on this lease. I boiled up a pot full of Tapioca Pearls into a pudding before I left so that I didn't starve after treatment.

On the way to Meekatharra I spotted an APLA Camp sign pegged to a fence. On my return journey with a numb face and a couple of teeth missing I followed the signs to find about twenty caravans and tents set up on an "E" lease only about 20km from my intended destination. My brother Merv had intended to meet me on the mining company's lease but he was delayed so I approached the camp leader Greg Young from APLA Perth.

I'm a member of the Goldfields branch of APLA so Greg told me that if I wanted to join them I'd have drive back to the camp in Cue where Goldfields, Mandurah and the South West groups were on a different site. Perth already had over eighty members that they had split into two separate camps in the area. I told him I had no intension of returning to Cue anytime soon so he very kindly invited me to stay.

I was just a blow-in so I wasn't bound by their strict rules but I did my best to abide by them anyway ;)
I've never been to an APLA camp before so I was pleasantly impressed with the manner in which they ran the camp. They have a system where they can easily check at the end of the day that all prospectors had returned. Some energetic person or people had dug a huge firepit and collected ample wood. Strict rules applied to what could be burned in the fire, no plastics or metal of any kind. Nubies were given help and guidance along the way, not everybody found gold but every effort was made to give them a fighting chance.

Prize.jpg

There was a damper cook-off around the campfire on one night. It was good to see all those camp ovens getting a workout. I found an old bag of flour under the bus seat and put my bit in. I was told by the judge that it was "A bit ordinary" but I won the above prizes anyway. Every participant got a prize.

Ground.jpg

The leases selected buy the camp organises had some fabulous looking ground spread over many square kilometres and we were free to go anywhere within the boundaries. Unfortunately the gold was extremely hard to find. On the first day I found two 0.8g pieces and one about 0.3g in a location about 14km from the camp. I was camped next to a group of three sharing a GPX6000. They were obviously new to the game so I offered them the coordinates not knowing if they could drive to the spot. I was the only member on a quad bike so I'd just chosen a spot off the map and headed across country to get there.

Salt and Pepper.jpg

The next morning I had intended to go to the same spot but had to pass over all this great looking ground to get there so I lingered in a few spots along the way. When I eventually got there about 11:00am I think it was like a car park with six or eight vehicles within an area of a few hundred metres square. Some were working an area of ground that had been turned over so they were digging plenty of deep junk, some were wandering across the wide expanses of quartz and ironstone and a few were on a scrapping. Nobody had taken any of my gold :)

I worked over my little patch with no success and by then I'd really had enough of the GPX6000 and it's magnetic attraction to hotrocks. I'd come prepared with the GPX4500 and the 19" NF coil. This coil cost me $600 some years back and I thought it was time I taught it how to find gold. Mrs M keeps reminding me from time to time about that $600 I wasted ;)

I leant the 6000 to one of the Nubies and set off in a straight line swinging the 19" coil. I only got as far as the next quartz ridge before I pinged a little flat nugget of about 0.5g. The ground was a bit different with very little visible iron (hotrocks) and almost completely white with quartz. I started off on a square patch around that spot and by the end of the day I'd turned up another two 0.8g nuggets. Several of the others came back to camp with a small quantity of gold as well.

As the week went on the gold didn't come any easier. I was chaining a bald ridge with the 19" NF at about 5m spacings between runs hoping to turn up a patch when another guy walked up behind me and pulled out a 1g piece. I was tired by then so swapped to the GPX6000 but soon realised that the paddock was too big for an 11" coil. I checked my phone, saw that I had no reception but when I looked east the top of the range was only a kilometre away. I headed up the mountain and had to go right to the peak to get reception. I called The Prospectors Pick to order the new 16"x10" NF coil for the 6000. I'm not a fan of NF coils but this particular coil interests me because of its weight. I weighed the 11" mono at 684g, the 14" DD at 1012g and the 16"x10" spoked NF comes in at 880g. That's very light for a coil of that size. Anyway the coil is still not released to the market so I missed out.

When I was about to return to the bald knob I took a look in opposite direction. The grass is always greener on the other side so I headed downhill on that other side. On arrival at the head of the main gully I walked away from the quad, switched on the 6000 and as I put it down to the ground it screamed at me. I thought "here we go, a patch of rubbish" but it wasn't. I'd placed the coil right on top of a decent chunk of gold.

4.5g.jpg

It was not huge but it big for this trip. This very sharp piece came from the head of the main gully and at the branch of three minor gullies up the steep incline. I spent the next couple of hours scaling the sides of the hill where there was heaps of scattered quartz but without success. From there I worked my way down stream and eventually picked up another piece.

On my was back to camp I identified a spot that I wanted to try the following day.

3g.jpg

It was kind to me delivering this 3g piece along with a smaller one a bit further down the hill. Note the rock type. The bigger one the day before came from an area with the same type of rock although it had quartz attached.

I met up with quite a few familiar faces of people I'd come across over the years. I never remember names but once they jogged my memory of where we met then I recognised them. All in all it was a great opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances and experience a really great week away in a very well run camp. They are great bunch of people even if most were from the Big Smoke ;)

APLA Perth.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
23
Earlier this year we had an offer from a mining company to check out one of their "E" leases just south of Meekatharra. When I broke a tooth a few weeks back and had to take the 115km trip to the dentist I packed the bus and went prepared to do a little exploration on this lease. I boiled up a pot full of Tapioca Pearls into a pudding before I left so that I didn't starve after treatment.

On the way to Meekatharra I spotted an APLA Camp sign pegged to a fence. On my return journey with a numb face and a couple of teeth missing I followed the signs to find about twenty caravans and tents set up on an "E" lease only about 20km from my intended destination. My brother Merv had intended to meet me on the mining company's lease but he was delayed so I approached the camp leader Greg Young from APLA Perth.

I'm a member of the Goldfields branch of APLA so Greg told me that if I wanted to join them I'd have drive back to the camp in Cue where Goldfields, Mandurah and the South West groups were on a different site. Perth already had over eighty members that they had split into two separate camps in the area. I told him I had no intension of returning to Cue anytime soon so he very kindly invited me to stay.

I was just a blow-in so I wasn't bound by their strict rules but I did my best to abide by them anyway ;)
I've never been to an APLA camp before so I was pleasantly impressed with the manner in which they ran the camp. They have a system where they can easily check at the end of the day that all prospectors had returned. Some energetic person or people had dug a huge firepit and collected ample wood. Strict rules applied to what could be burned in the fire, no plastics or metal of any kind. Nubies were given help and guidance along the way, not everybody found gold but every effort was made to give them a fighting chance.

View attachment 5143

There was a damper cook-off around the campfire on one night. It was good to see all those camp ovens getting a workout. I found an old bag of flour under the bus seat and put my bit in. I was told by the judge that it was "A bit ordinary" but I won the above prizes anyway. Every participant got a prize.

View attachment 5145

The leases selected buy the camp organises had some fabulous looking ground spread over many square kilometres and we were free to go anywhere within the boundaries. Unfortunately the gold was extremely hard to find. On the first day I found two 0.8g pieces and one about 0.3g in a location about 14km from the camp. I was camped next to a group of three sharing a GPX6000. They were obviously new to the game so I offered them the coordinates not knowing if they could drive to the spot. I was the only member on a quad bike so I'd just chosen a spot off the map and headed across country to get there.

View attachment 5155

The next morning I had intended to go to the same spot but had to pass over all this great looking ground to get there so I lingered in a few spots along the way. When I eventually got there about 11:00am I think it was like a car park with six or eight vehicles within an area of a few hundred metres square. Some were working an area of ground that had been turned over so they were digging plenty of deep junk, some were wandering across the wide expanses of quartz and ironstone and a few were on a scrapping. Nobody had taken any of my gold :)

I worked over my little patch with no success and by then I'd really had enough of the GPX6000 and it's magnetic attraction to hotrocks. I'd come prepared with the GPX4500 and the 19" NF coil. This coil cost me $600 some years back and I thought it was time I taught it how to find gold. Mrs M keeps reminding me from time to time about that $600 I wasted ;)

I leant the 6000 to one of the Nubies and set off in a straight line swinging the 19" coil. I only got as far as the next quartz ridge before I pinged a little flat nugget of about 0.5g. The ground was a bit different with very little visible iron (hotrocks) and almost completely white with quartz. I started off on a square patch around that spot and by the end of the day I'd turned up another two 0.8g nuggets. Several of the others came back to camp with a small quantity of gold as well.

As the week went on the gold didn't come any easier. I was chaining a bald ridge with the 19" NF at about 5m spacings between runs hoping to turn up a patch when another guy walked up behind me and pulled out a 1g piece. I was tired by then so swapped to the GPX6000 but soon realised that the paddock was too big for an 11" coil. I checked my phone, saw that I had no reception but when I looked east the top of the range was only a kilometre away. I headed up the mountain and had to go right to the peak to get reception. I called The Prospectors Pick to order the new 16"x10" NF coil for the 6000. I'm not a fan of NF coils but this particular coil interests me because of its weight. I weighed the 11" mono at 684g, the 14" DD at 1012g and the 16"x10" spoked NF comes in at 880g. That's very light for a coil of that size. Anyway the coil is still not released to the market so I missed out.

When I was about to return to the bald knob I took a look in opposite direction. The grass is always greener on the other side so I headed downhill on that other side. On arrival at the head of the main gully I walked away from the quad, switched on the 6000 and as I put it down to the ground it screamed at me. I thought "here we go, a patch of rubbish" but it wasn't. I'd placed the coil right on top of a decent chunk of gold.

View attachment 5153

It was not huge but it big for this trip. This very sharp piece came from the head of the main gully and at the branch of three minor gullies up the steep incline. I spent the next couple of hours scaling the sides of the hill where there was heaps of scattered quartz but without success. From there I worked my way down stream and eventually picked up another piece.

On my was back to camp I identified a spot that I wanted to try the following day.

View attachment 5156

It was kind to me delivering this 3g piece along with a smaller one a bit further down the hill. Note the rock type. The bigger one the day before came from an area with the same type of rock although it had quartz attached.

I met up with quite a few familiar faces of people I'd come across over the years. I never remember names but once they jogged my memory of where we met then I recognised them. All in all it was a great opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances and experience a really great week away in a very well run camp. They are great bunch of people even if most were from the Big Smoke ;)

View attachment 5157
As another trier at the camp Phil turned up to i would like to thank him for the wealth of experience and willingness to share his knowledge that made this camp much better for everyone there. Phil and his trusty quad gave us some confidence about where to look after the initial lack of gold finds. He should be called gold magnet not moneybox methinks.
 

Latest posts

Top