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Outback

Well, I'm camped at Mount Gunson Cattle Yards on Pernatty Station in outback South Australia (SA). I suppose you could say it's a pretty ordinary sort of a place to be camping.

Elevation 75 metres above sea level, with the high ground around here at 100 metres apart from Mount Gunson which is a little over 200 metres, so nothing much to stop the westerly wind between Perth and here. I have the tent well pegged down!

Plenty of firewood about for the picking up. Some that I got is myall and I expect the rest is either myall or mulga, both excellent campfire wood.

Pretty simple meal tonight! Rice simmered for a while, maybe 20 minutes. Add the dried peas and simmer for a few more minutes, then drain. Add a small can of four been mix and another of corn kernels, stirring the lot together, and warm for a few minutes. Serve on a plate and enjoy.

Mount Gunson would be five or ten kilometres away to the west. In this country a hill doesn't need to be all that big to be called a mountain.

The track to Mount Gunson yards goes fairly close to the Mount Gunson Mine, a smaller copper mine. The mine is only a few kilometres away, in fact, I can see the lights of the mine from my camp.

Rather than being on Mount Gunson, the mine is on the verge of Pernatty Lagoon. Depending on your viewpoint it could be said that the mine is a terrible blot on a pristine salt lake.

The workings are cutting into a cliff of the lake. Sulphuric acid is used to leach the copper from the ore and the copper concentrate is caught in dams in the lake bed, then pumped up to the refinery where the copper metal is removed from the concentrate leaving the acid ready to be reused.

I guess the levies are high enough to retain the concentrate during a major flood event when Pernatty Lagoon fills and I guess the water table is safe from the copper rich acid.

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