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‘Like Sovereign Hill on steroids’: Meet the Victorian Historical Mine Shaft Chasers

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Every few years something happens in Victoria’s goldfields — a sinkhole in a backyard, the discovery of a gaping hole next to a primary school — to remind residents of the history waiting to reappear beneath their feet.

Nobody is quite sure how many old mines are littered across Victoria, but the conservative estimate is 19,000.

However Ray Shaw, founder of Victorian Historical Mine Shaft Chasers Inc, believes the real number is significantly higher, and the state government agrees.

Members of the Victorian Historical Mine Shaft Chasers rest for a moment while exploring a mine.

Affectionately known as ‘Raymo’, Mr Shaw spends most weekends abseiling into the unknown depths of old mine shafts, crawling through confined spaces and testing…



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