Black Opal Lightning Ridge Australia | Free Shipping Worldwide
We, at Absolute Opals & Gems (Australia), are second generation Opal Miners, Gem Cutters and Wholesalers, proudly specialising in Australian Black Opal, directly from the mines.
You will find us located in the heart of the busy mining town of Lightning Ridge New South Wales , approx. 750 km or 468 miles, north west of Sydney, Australia.
Absolute Opals & Gems Pty Ltd is a second generation mining enterprise. Here are some images of our mining activity:
The Prospecting Drill and the underground digger
We prospect for opal with a 9 inch auger drill. When promising material is discovered we drill a 3 foot diameter shaft down to a depth that bottoms on the opal bearing level. When, what appears to be payable material is found, we lower a mechanical digger down the shaft.
Truck and blower then into the Agies
The dirt is extracted by a “blower” which in reality is more akin to a giant vacuum cleaner. When the truck is full, it is taken to the “agitator”- a modified cement mixer- where the extracted dirt is washed for the duration of the mining week. Up to 10 truckloads of dirt go into each batch of wash, which wears down and accumulates into a concentrate by the end of the week.
Rough opals from the tailings
Then, we just manually sort through the washed clean concentrate called “tailings”, to pick out the gems, often none, but once every few years hard work is rewarded by discovering a pocket of truly beautiful gems!
Cutting and Polishing
Then it is off to the cutting and polishing room.