A rough shanty camp - and a mineshaft... These are the two worlds of Mr.?
A rough shanty camp - and a mineshaft... These are the two worlds of Mr. Joe Orr -- he's been a prospector for most of his 64 years Joe Orr is a long hand - and he's owned the Lesanben mine near Kalgoorlie for the last five years... He's also mined all over Western Australia, and in the Northern territory.
He's worked for wages now and again - but never for very long, because this is the work he knows and likes best. Down the shaft he goes to a depth of 150 feet... and he goes up and down four times a day or more.
It's a solitary life, away from the comforts of a town. The prospector lives and works along - and it means he has to both mine, and work the winch as well.
Joe Orr has always found enough gold to make a living, and at his mine near Kalgoorlie, he produces about five tons of ore a months. An ounce, worth about fifteen pounds, is averaged in each ton.... and his monthly income averages seventh five pounds. There's a lot of wastage before the final crushing.
A sample of ore is taken by the miner to find its gold content. Mining is a hardlife, but strikes like one made by Joe Orr at Cox's Find in 1938 make it worthwhile: with a friend he then mined almost three hundred ounces in three months.
Next, in a cylinder known as a dolly pot, the ore is pounded into dust. This is the method followed by most gold ore miners - and Joe Orr is appropriately named for his vocation. Here, the ore is panned - in the traditional way. And the gold remains.. little enough, but it means a great deal to the prospector.
Although his mine isn't far from Kalgoorlie, Joe Orr goes to town only at weekends to do his shopping. Even though he works alone, this is the life he enjoys.