It all started with the Antiques Road show where Doug saw a woman with a tiny bottle of gold-dust which belonged to her grandfather. It wasn’t worth very much but it jogged his memory. Apparently, according to his great uncle Ted when the old Guys in the gold diggings did not strike anything worthwhile, they would sell on their claim. However, before they did this they would would file off some gold, put it in a blunderbuss and shoot it into the mine. (Commonly known as salting) Prospective buyers would have no hesitation in taking over the claim. Well! That’s what his cousin Joe told him.
Joe also told Doug that In the Madam Hopkins mine at Avoca (in Central Victoria) they struck a reef and the engineers insisted on continuing to drill even though there was a fair bit of water seepage. The old miners counselled against it, but the engineers knew better. The inevitable happened, the mine was flooded with loss of life and the Bet Bet Creek was poisoned with cyanide for many years. In 1939 a mining company drilled in the same area and found an amazing amount of gold, however they could not retrieve it because of the water depth. (note: I could not confirm this although I could find reference to the Old Madam Hopkins mine shaft in a 1914 newspaper)
Maybe this is a lesson in taking notice of the voice of experience or maybe these are just tall stories that men, especially fathers and grandfathers, like to tell gullible young boys. All I can say is, it all started with the Antiques Road Show and a bottle of Gold Dust and there’s no point in wasting a good story.