Mining town jumps at golden chance to be part of Melbourne Cup

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Brisbane 4000

(Supplied: Bland Shire Council) ABC Radio Brisbane

By

Hailey Renault

Updated

March 08, 2018 07:14:27

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The next Melbourne Cup will be made from Queensland gold.
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The most famous trophy in Australian sport has a somewhat colourful and creative history. Photo:
Mt Rawdon gold mine is located 75km west of Bundaberg. (Ross Kay)
Queensland connection to the CupRacing Victoria’s keeper of the Cup, Joe McGrath, said he could not say if this was the first time gold mined in Queensland had been used to make the trophy.However, he said it was not the first time Queensland had been involved in manufacturing it.Brisbane jeweller Hardy Brothers “meticulously hand-crafted” the Cup before the tender was taken over by ABC Bullion.”Prior to that [it] was Drummonds the jeweller based in Melbourne … they manufactured the Melbourne Cup from 1919 to 1980.”An ABC Bullion spokesperson said this was the first time the company knew of when the Cup would be made exclusively of gold from Queensland. A small mining community west of Bundaberg is celebrating after discovering it produced the gold for next year’s coveted Melbourne Cup trophy.The precious metal was mined from Mt Rawdon, an Evolution Mining project in Queensland’s north Burnett region.Mt Rawdon general manager Bernie Cleary said workers living in the nearby town of Mount Perry were excited to find out they would play a part in Cup history.”We’re working with our local shire councils to put in an application to have the Cup visit our region, especially north Burnett and Mount Perry itself,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane.”The excitement was overwhelming.”Mt Rawdon has produced 1.6 million ounces of gold since mining started there in 2001.Mr Cleary said the gold destined for Melbourne Cup fame in 2019 was on its way to Sydney to be refined and hand-beaten by jewellers.The company ABC Bullion will manufacture the three-handled “Loving Cup” trophy for Racing Victoria.But this is not the first time Evolution has supplied gold for the Cup; the gold used for the 2018 trophy was sourced from its Cowal mine in NSW. Know your Cup history? This year’s trophy is valued at $200,000 and took jewellers four months to make out of 44 pieces of gold.Mr McGrath said the techniques used to craft the trophy had not changed since the first of its kind was presented to the owners of Artilleryman in 1919.”The rivets that go into the trophy, the style — all of that is strictly adhered to in the present day.”The finished Cup will be collected by Racing Victoria one year and one week before the 2019 running.Mr McGrath said he looked forward to the Mount Perry community’s involvement in the lead-up to the race.”I think it’s fantastic that a local mine in a regional community would put their hand up and take pride in supplying gold for the manufacturing of the Melbourne Cup.”
My great-grandad made the Melbourne Cup