Prospecting popularity prompts safety message

For safe prospecting, prospectors should carry personal locator beacons.
Date: Thursday, 21 May 2015

Seven Golden Rules for Prospecting highlight safe and sustainable practices.

Prospectors in Western Australia are being reminded about the Seven Golden Rules for Prospecting to ensure it is done safely and sustainably.

Mineral Titles Executive Director Dr Ivor Roberts said the department had issued more than 17,000 Miner’s Rights for prospecting in Western Australia in the past five years.

“That is an incredible number and is indicative of gold prospecting’s continued popularity in this State,” Mr Roberts said.

“However, to ensure that prospecting is safe and sustainable, everyone prospecting should follow the Seven Golden Rules for Prospecting which outline safety issues and legal requirements.”

Dr Roberts said safety should always be a prospector’s number one priority.

“Western Australia’s outback can be a harsh, remote environment, which is why personal safety is such an important consideration when prospecting in this State,” he said.

“This is why we encourage everyone to carry Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) when prospecting in remote areas.”

The device, which can be purchased from most outdoor stores, is ideal for use in remote areas as it does not rely on telecommunication networks to submit a signal.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion and Police Minister Liza Harvey launched the Seven Golden Rules campaign earlier this week and highlighted the importance of safety.

“Undoubtedly, PLBs are the best way of avoiding the sometimes tragic results of getting lost in the Goldfields and the outback,” Mr Marmion said.

Mrs Harvey said searches not only stressed the family and friends of those lost, they stretched precious police and emergency resources.

“Three years ago, a month-long search ended in tragedy and sparked the push for PLBs,” she said.

“In contrast, a recent search found the missing person just four hours after his device began sending out signals.”

Police statistics show that since January 2014 nine prospectors were involved in land search operations in Western Australia. None were carrying PLBs.

“I’m concerned there are far too many people going bush without the right gear,” Mr Marmion said.
“The bottom line is if you’re not carrying a beacon you’re not taking enough responsibility for your life.

“Remember the Seven Golden Rules for prospecting, and make safety number one.”

The Seven Golden Rules campaign will see Department of Mines and Petroleum offices, tourist bureaus, libraries and caravan parks targeted with posters, brochures and booklets.