An enormous boulder of Australian jade has been donated to the National Rock Garden in Canberra.
Sapphire miners Jenny and Jim Elliot of Coolamon Mining recently loaded up the 16.4 tonne semi-precious chrysoprase- bearing rock for the long haul from Calliope in Queensland to the nation’s capital, where it will arrive this week.
Gladstone Observer reported that the rock has sat in the Elliots’ driveway for nearly a decade, as they were unable to sell in China for jewellery due to logistical difficulties.
"And anyway we've got to preserve these things for Australians. It's important," Jim Elliot said.
"To find a big boulder like this is unheard of; it's absolutely rare and unlike anything ever found anywhere in the world.”
The National Rock Garden (NRG) Steering Committee chair Brad Pillans said plans to bring the rock down to Canberra had been laid for some time, however funding from the National Cultural Heritage Account enabled their ability pay for transport costs.
“The specimen contains a significant amount of chrysoprase, which will be brilliantly displayed when we cut and polish a face of the boulder,” Pillans said.
"The Marlborough area is world famous for chrysoprase and the Elliots' specimen would have to be one of the best.”
The committee have also acquired a seven-tonne, alunite-bearing rock from Bulladah in NSW.
NRG director Mike Smith said the site was not ready to receive such large specimens , so they will be placed in the Geoscience Australia TimeWalk suite of rocks.
Image: Gladstone Observer