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Chinese miners

Chinese miners

In this scene Chinese miners are using a sluice box and puddling mill to search for gold, while another miner has a massage to relieve his aching shoulders.

Mining for gold is physically demanding work. Here, Chinese miners are using a sluice box and puddling mill to search for gold, while another miner has a massage to relieve his aching shoulders.

Where the Chinese miners located

In 1861, there were more than 24,000 Chinese immigrants on the Victorian goldfields of Ararat, Ballarat, Beechworth, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Maryborough. There were over 11,000 Chinese on the New South Wales goldfields of Armidale, Bathurst, Binalong, Braidwood, Burrangong, Lambing Flat (Young), Carcoar, Lachlan, Mudgee, Tambaroora, Tamworth and Tumut.

As the southern gold deposits were depleted, there was a corresponding drop in the number of Chinese miners in these areas. However, in the 1870s there was an influx of Chinese miners to Queensland after the discovery of gold in the Palmer and Hodgkinson rivers and in Cooktown. Chinese miners not only worked gold but also other metals such as tin, copper and wolfram.