Photo of the inside of the (until now) undiscovered mine.
While the majority of Aboriginal communities around Australia face the ongoing fallout associated with being slaughtered en masse by shiploads of convicts and continue to struggle with rife unemployment, health issues and unethical art dealers, a small and relatively unknown tribe—the Gupajangus, have struck gold (literally) and are quickly getting rich or dying trying. The Gs, as they are known locally, have tapped into a previously undiscovered vein of gold in a massive quartz reef, which they say runs for about half a kilometre next to their village. The Gs have lived in the North Western part of the Northern Territory for more than 40,000 years and have passed stone and ochre mining skills (basically quarying flint nodules from caves to make tools) down through the generations. These days, 80% of government-endorsed mining in the Northern Territory happens on Aboriginal land so many have worked various jobs in major mines and learned how to dig and excavate to find valuable resources. Organised mining in the area ceased about five years ago though when miners mistakenly determined that the area had been drained dry which means the Gs have been able to “go for gold” so to speak. The existing law of the land states that any mine, and the contents discovered therein, belong to the discoverer for 80 years or part thereof so basically the Gs are getting rich beyond their wildest dreams and it’s totally legit. The youngest members, who despite not actually working the mines, are reaping the benefits and discovering great and important things like rare Bathing Ape imports. Eighteen year old Terry told us “Life is pretty great now we got money. We can buy what we want. All my crew got matching earrings like Pharrell and we listen to Pharrell and 50 Cent all the time. I like that song Window Shopper especially.” It’s not known exactly how much the G’s fortune has amassed to but older members have been sighted around ridiculously rich Jew Joseph Gutnick’s (who has made in the vicinity of $400 million in Australian mining) mansion, supposedly seeking professional advice. A spokesperson for the Gs informed us that the tribe was “investing the money in community programs and educational centres and establishing didgeridoo workshops around the country”. However, a source close to the tribe said that “Like anybody who wins Tattslotto, the Gs are going to have to be solicitous about how they deal with their new found wealth. People in their situation often find that they become the source of extreme resentment and can find that it tears once stable relationships apart. The social implications are huge but as long as they can steer their newfound wealth in the right direction, it could be the best thing that's ever happened to them.” BETH WARTON