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Web site lists 'great' mines for tourists

Jan. 22, 2010 at 6:19 PM

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The Sovereign Hill gold mines in Ballarat, Australia, top a tourism Web site's list of "Five Great Gold mines and Gold Fields."

VirtualTourist, based in California, said Friday Sovereign Hill makes for a unique experience, with costumed staff and businesses in the style of the 1850s bringing tourists to the mines.

The Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega, Ga., was mentioned second on the list for businesses allowing visitors to pan for gold and mine for gemstones.

The Web site said the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine of Sado Island, Japan, was chosen for its walking paths through the mines and a museum complete with animatronic miners.

Fourth on the list was the Homestake Visitor Center in Lead, S.D, which was cited for its rich history, including ownership by George Hearst, newspaperman William Randolph Hearst's businessman-U.S. senator father, in the late 1800s.

The El Dorado Gold Mine of Fox, Alaska, the final mine on the list, was cited for its tours, including train rides with at least one fiddle-playing conductor.

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