Gary Tomasovich knows gold – he’s been hunting it for half a century.
Now 69 years old, Gary has been prospecting in every gold region across Australia and has reached a level of efficiency few if any can match.
“After all these years, I can study the ground and I can see the best areas for gold. Sometimes I give people advice, I tell them where to look, but they still waste their time going on what I call a sightseeing tour. Just wasting their time,” he said.
Well known by his trading name Gadachi Gold, Gary’s efficiency is certainly helped by unique motorbike he’s built to help him cover ground.
The stripped-back, air-cooled diesel motorcycle with steel guards trails a 40″ mono coil encased in a tailor-made box which insulates the coil and cuts out interference from the bike’s sparkplugs and electrical systems.
The coil is connected to a Minelab GP 3000 which Gary monitors through headphones.
“I’m a mechanical engineer by trade so building the bikes comes naturally. The big trick is the box – no-one else can match it. No way. I suppose I should patent it, but then there’d be less gold for me,” he laughed.
Over the years Gary has worn out three bikes prospecting, covering up to 300 kilometres a trip.
But sometimes the bike will only get you so far.
“Recently, I was working a reef in central W.A. On top it was okay but as soon as you moved away from the reef the interference was too much. It was heavily mineralised because of all the runoff from the ironstone.”
So, Gary got off his bike and started using his trusty hand held – a Minelab GP Extreme with a 17″ anti-interference coil to cut down the noise.
“About 80 meters from the reef, I got a nice strong signal and there about 2 1/2″ below the surface I found an 1,100 gram nugget,” he smiled.
“The old heart did start to tick over!
“You always get excited, especially after you’ve had a couple of dry days.”
Gary has since had the nugget cleaned and it’s lost a little weight – now a mere 1,076 grams.
A very nice find, but certainly not Gary’s only one.
“I was with a mate working this other area in the eastern goldfields of W.A. and after six days we’d found bugger all,” Gary said.
“This piece of land sloped down to a deep creek which I liked the look of.
“I got off the bike and started using the GP Extreme with a 24” elliptical, working along a 30 metre stretch of the bank and right at the bottom I found this 11-ounce nugget (340 grams) which I call The Duck.
“I found a few other smaller pieces and marked out the site and went back to camp.”
But over the next few days Gary couldn’t get that patch of ground out of his mind, so he asked if he could borrow his mate’s new Minelab GPZ 7000.
“I went back to that creek bank which was all loamy soil and gravel and I got this faint signal. So, I started digging and digging and digging. Then at about three-foot deep the detector started screaming, so I dug down another six inches and there she was – 997 grams!
“The thing is, she’d been standing up, giving me a small cross section, which explained how faint the signal was at the start.”
But the Minelab GPZ 7000 was up to it – and more.
Gary stayed and got another 80 or so small pieces, from half- to one-gram, proving the GPZ 7000 has the penetrating power to find deeply-hidden gold along with the sensitivity to identify shallower, smaller nuggets.
Gary’s sometimes called the Mad Croatian by his friends, but this expert is not crazy at all.
“I use Minelabs. I’ve always used Minleabs and I’ve found a lot of gold.”