Working The Tailings

Working the Tailings

Working the Tailings communicates how the Chinese stuck together to survive and seek gold at the Ballaarat diggings.

As gold miners the Chinese preferred surface alluvial mining.  They would find pockets in creek beds which had been overlooked, lifting and washing the soil of leftover diggings abandoned by Western Miners.  Their methods may have been guided by their belief that deep mining would upset the Mountain Gods.   They worked cooperatively and patiently in a systematic, organised manner.

Westerners resented them for being able to find gold that was initially missed.

Research

The Chinese worked in teams to survive and seek gold at the diggings.  They would quickly build shelters and often chose to sleep crowed together as was usual at home in China.  Teams were organised to mine, to cook and to tend vegetable gardens. As gold miners the Chinese preferred surface alluvial mining, importing their own wooden pumps and it was reported that their techniques were very sophisticated.  The Chinese settled to work the ‘tailings,’ leftover ground abandoned by the English and Europeans.  They would find pockets in creek beds which had been overlooked, lifting and washing the soil of gullies.  The Chinese were resented for being able to find gold that was initially missed.  They worked cooperatively and patiently in a systematic, organised manner.

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