The curious thing about Industry Road, in the Den Range north of Mt Direction, is that you don't see any drill holes there.
You'll find old shafts and a long tunnel, but the area seems to have been overlooked by modern mining companies.
Gold was discovered nearby at the Glen in the 1860s.
As the alluvial there exhausted and no reefs were found, men scoured the district for alternatives.
One group found Lefroy.
In 1870, another party made a strike on the ridge at the top of Den Creek.
They pegged a 30 acre claim and sank two shafts, finding fine gold in both.
They called their claim the Industry - hence the road name today.
Nuggets from one of their shafts were put on display at the Elephant & Castle Hotel in Wellington St, where the owner Mr Atkinson was one of the partners.
More shafts and trenches were put in, finding gold everywhere.
In mid-October 1870, The Examiner reported a stunning result of 14oz of gold (worth $35,000 today) from three buckets of stone taken out of a posthole!
Shareholders Tom Moore and Robert Bennell brought some dirt back to the hotel in their horse saddlebags.
On crushing it, they yielded another 8oz.
Specimens and nuggets richer than anything ever found in Tasmania were coming off the claim.
A company formed and built a crushing plant they christened "Clara" after Mr Atkinson's daughter.
Full operations commenced in April 1871.
Other prospectors and companies pegged ground around them and began digging.
All found gold in quartz veins and in the local sedimentary rocks.
A series of mines and companies worked the area - the Industry,
New Industry, Native Industry and others.
Strangely, none could make a go of it.
For some reason, the gold recoveries were nothing like the assays.
Where the Ballarat School of Mines reported 3oz a tonne in samples from the Native Industry mine, the company recovered only a tenth ounce in actual processing.
Shareholders argued bitterly about what was wrong.
A director suggested crushing some stockpiled ore at Lefroy to see if it gave a better return, but they ignored him and wound up the company in disgust.
Yet their nuggets weren't a mirage, and in 1881, a company put a tunnel right through the hill, finding reefs and recovering 1/2 oz per tonne in a trial crush before running out of money.
In the 1890s others tried.
Launceston was electrified when one reported 7oz out of one dish of dirt.
People flocked to the mine to see.
There were so many, work had to stop.
Gold could be seen everywhere - it was "marvellous", reported The Examiner newspaper.
Another group took stone out of one of the old shafts and sent it to Lefroy for crushing, yielding an ounce a tonne before being driven out by water.
Yet no one seems to have ever followed it up in modern times!
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