Friday, 24 July 2020

Yowah Opal

Yowah is a small town in outback western Queensland, Australia. Yowah is located 938 kilometres west of Brisbane and 132 kilometres west of Cunnamulla. The 2006 census revealed a population of 142.

The town is famous for its opal mining and numerous opal fields that lie around the town as well as the "Yowah Nut" a local type of opal distinctive to the region. The area was first leased in 1883 to settlers and opal mining has been the main activity ever since.
The Yowah field is an occurrence of opal in siliceous ironstone nodules, referred to as Yowah Nuts. These nuts have a spherical or ellipsoidal shape, and show alternate bands of light and dark brown siliceous ironstone. Sometimes a kernel of precious opal occurs, which is the source of the gem. The nuts are found in layers at depths up to 20m in a ferruginous sandstone.