September 09, 2021

We found a super gem quality fossil opal on Donna's Rush, April fools day 2021.

the opal shell we found opal mining in the bush.
For about 25 years I searched the underground labyrinths of the Coober Pedy opal fields for any hint of precious opal. It is a fascinating pursuit with visceral rewards. If I say so myself, I became quite adept at sniffing out colour traces, coupled with some level of tenacity this often produced beautiful, cuttable opal stones, and quite often, in particular, opalised shells. The opal fossils of the Stuart Range bulldog shale occur throughout a cretaceous sedimentary shale that is up to a mile or more deep in places, with opal fossils occurring in the top one hundred or so feet of intensely weathered shale. These creatures are thought to have lived about 120 million years ago and have been replaced through the still relatively mysterious process by which calcareous fossil deposits are sometimes filled with precious opal. Earlier this year (2021) While Shannon was shifting dirt with the Kanga loader in our mine on Donna's Rush, I couldnt sit idle for the machine to dig the specified hole. Many years ago a miner showed me some beautiful opal from Donna's Rush and I knew the spot he worked but never had the chance to have a look at it.


I drove our trusty mining winch over to the spot, and picked a 3 foot diameter shaft to set up the winch nearest to the 6 foot (tunelling machine) shaft where they let the machine down, this way i know its most likely open and has access to the mine.

Once down the bottom, at about 50 feet to the floor, I was confronted by a myriad of strong sticky redback spider webs all thoughout the mine, most accompanied by big momma fat redbacks, each with enough dangerous venom that one decent bite could mean I wasnt leaving the mine that day.. 

Once upon a time I would leave the red backs in peace, that is until one time i let a big nest stop me from checking a mine, Several other miners soon found well over 150 thousand in beautiful opal there. Now i do what i have to do to be able to check the mine....

In this video, I show the pocket of beautiful white based vertical opal i managed to locate in front of the opal bearing fault \ slide at about 45 feet depth and the shell that was further out from the fault, hiding a few inches behind a speck of untouched shell trace left in the wall at about 50 feet. 

Please bookmark our blog, and like / subscribe to out youtube channel for updates on our mining adventures!

This opal can be purchased at


Cheers for now, Lochy.


Leave a comment