In what seems to be a very similar story to much for the Bendigo-Ballarat goldfield, gold at Berringa was first discovered around 1850’s alluvial gold in gullies and water courses. In 1864, William Schreck first discovered the now ubiquitous hard rock vein mines primarily at the Kangaroo Lode.
This was short lived having only reach approx. 40m with reports of the returns as too small and water too much to be worth continuing. 11 years later the Kangaroo Company returned to the lode and sunk a new shaft. This was far more successful and (spurred on by a new gold rush treating the tertiary gravels the silt atop the older sandstones and siltstones) encouraged a new wave of underground mining in the area.
By 1876 The Nil Desperandum (later to be known as Williams Fancy) lode was found and the size of the lode encouraged serious prospecting throughout the area. Alluvial processing continued in tandem and up to 3 hard rock mines were operating each with their own battery. In 1883 the express lode was found but little further work was done on the reef with the focus remaining on the Kangaroo main lode.
By 1896 worked ceased on the field with the Williams Fancy/Kangaroo as the only truly successful operations . Between 1865 and 1897 an estimated 67,000 tonnes of gold was recovered at an estimated grade of 8.3g/t
Mining returned in 1893 with the re-opening of the Kangaroo Mine and in 1898 the discovery of the Birthday lode. Mining continued as active production at Berringa form 1898 until the start of WW1 in 1914. During the period production of the 5 mines operating in the area was a little over 280,000 ounces.
By 1917 lack of manpower, and resources to operate the mines saw the closure of the last mines at Birthday Tunnel and Williams Fancy. The Birthday Tunnel was the second largest produce in the field developing to 311m depth with quartz reefs as wide as 10 m. Production stats however indicated that gold values decreased with depth towards the south. Cross cuts form the Birthday tunnel intersected the Express reef and a second eastern reef, though again little is known of further development of these reefs..
Some returned exploration in 1937 with the Berringa syndicate establishing an adit and crosscut from Kangaroo Gully on the eastern side of the main lode structure but reporting little economic success, even with the intersection of the Kangaroo reef within 100m of the adit portal. Two years later the Company let the mine on tribute and a shaft sunk on No3 lode was encouraging. By 1942 the new syndicate had sunk the shaft to 76m , erected a 10 stamp battery and was reported to be very profitable.
The Kangaroo mine comprised multiple reefs with the main Kangaroo lode extensively worked. Payable quartz was mined in widths over 12 metres and as stockworks, laminated veins and flat lying veins. To the south of the mine at Williams Fancy the saddle reef stuck at the same level contained’ good ore”.
West of the main shaft at Kangaroo further wide refs of 1.2 to 1.5m with grades nearing 16g.t.
Mining to the south of Kangaroo (south Birthday mine) was considered that whilst the reef was narrow it was considered continuous and of high grade.
Fire in 1948 impacted on production and by 1952 The Berringa Mine closed. Over the 15 year of operation a further 13,470 ounces was recovered at an average grade of 17.4g/t
1956 there was a short lived revival of interest at Berringa Mine but within the year it was again closed as a result of damage from a bush fire
In 1974 Multilode Gold Mines NL re opened the Berringa shaft down to a depth of 43m and recovered 30 tonne sin a bulk sample averaging 9.8g/t followed by Southland Mining NL who deepened the shaft to 116m
1974 to 1980 a new shaft was sunk on the property and a small parcel of ore treated encouraging Alluvial prospectors to extend the shaft and partially rehabilitate the old workings until 1982 when the mine finally closed.
In 1984 the head frame was removed and by 1985 all mining was abandoned until modern exploration commenced around 1985.
In total 293,000 ounces of gold was recovered at an average grade of 9.8g/t