Citation

Geoscience Australia provides most of its products for free under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. We only require that you reference the use of our data or information using the following citation:
Croll, I.C.H., 1950. The opal industry in Australia. Bulletin  017. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, Canberra.

Abstract

The opal industry in Australia has experienced a marked revival during the past few years, and the value of production during 1946 was the highest recorded for 40 years. To some extent this is due to the purchases made by American troops when they were stationed in this country during the war, and the publicity given to the gems when the troops returned to their homes. Apart from the direct effect of this publicity on the demand for tl1e gem, the discovery of good stone in a hitherto unprospected portion of the principal field led to considerable improvement in production. It is frequently pointed out that Australia is the principal opal-producing country in the world, and that this pre-eminence should enable us to exercise what amounts to international control of the industry. Whilst there are cogent arguments against any attempt to establish world control, a good case may be made for a greater degree of economic stability in the industry within Australia. The possibility of devising a method which would be in the best interest of all sections of the industry was investigated by the Bureau of Mineral Resources, and the results of the inquiry form the subject of this Bulletin. It is appropriate to emphasize several points which must be kept in mind if the opal industry is to be considered in its proper perspective. As far as can be ascertained there is no commercial use for opal other than as a gemstone, and it must, therefore, be regarded as a non-essential luxury item. Although opal may have a considerable value as an export commodity, the industry is subject to vagaries of fashion and other unpredictable factors which make stabilization extremely difficult. Besides this disability is the relative insignificance of opal production compared with that of other minerals on the basis of recorded value it constitutes less than 005 per cent of the total 8 mineral production in Australia. It should be clearly understood, therefore that a small non-essential industry is under review, and any departure from this perspective will lead to misunderstanding of the views expressed in this Bulletin. For these and other reasons it will be understood that values of production quoted in this Bulletin must be regarded as comparative rather than absolute, and it may be safely assumed that they are all under-estimated. The remainder of this Bulletin is divided into two major parts-the first dealing with the raw material, and the second dealing with the marketing aspects and a discussion of the various methods which have been suggested for stabilization of the industry. Emphasis throughout is on the present rather than the past, although some historical data are included as essential to a proper appreciation of the present circumstances in the industry.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -10.0 East bound 155.0 West bound 112.0 South bound -44.0
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Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - GA Publication - Bulletin

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

1950

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

GA Publication
Bulletin
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-10.0
East bound
155.0
West bound
112.0
South bound
-44.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

DISTRIBUTION Format

pdf

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-fd7c-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

1996-10-29

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Downloads
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact Geoscience Australia Client Services via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
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