Australia is responsible for 90% of the world’s gem quality opal supply and half of this supply comes from two opal mining towns, one of them being Lightning Ridge. In 1905, the first shafts were dug in Lightning Ridge and the unique black opal began being mined. Since then, opal mining has developed into an innovative industry that supports the local economy and draws about a hundred thousand visitors to the area annually.
Across the whole of the Narran-Warrnambool Reserve, approximately 3,000 mineral claims exist, of which Mining, Exploration and GeoScience (MEG) advise that 1,831 of these mineral claims are on the Lightning Ridge Area Opal Reserve. All claims are managed by MEG, which ensures miners are inducted with safety courses, including proper health and safety training, the rehabilitation process for the land and compliance reporting.
(02) 4063 6534
516 High Street, Maitland NSW 2320
Lightning Ridge Miners’ Association Ltd (LRMA) provides a voice for opal miners in dealing with government and non-government bodies, in various affairs affecting their economic and social welfare. They are administered by a President and seven Directors
(02) 6829 0427
3 Morilla St, Lightning Ridge NSW 2834
Glengarry, Grawin, Sheepyard Miners Association (GGSMA) also provide services to miners, similar to LRMA