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Jean-Paul Turcaud (1940? -) is a French mining pioneer, and one of many claimants to the discovery of the Telfer Mine in Western Australia, Australia's largest gold mine. The discovery of this prospect is officially attributed to David Tyrwhitt for Newcrest Mining in 1973.

Turcaud's claim

There are many prospectors who claim to have discovered the mine. However, in this case, the officially recognised claimants do not deny that Jean-Paul Turcaud, after having spent a considerable amount of time searching Australia's Great Sandy Desert, was the first prospector to find the mineral deposit that eventually became the Telfer Mine.

Counter claim

The counter claim by Newmont Mining (the project was later spun off into Newcrest) was that discovery of a mineral deposit does not, in and of itself, constitute recognition of that discovery. They argue that discovery of a prospect usually goes to those who (1) physically peg the area and (2) correctly identify the mineable minerals in the deposit. They point out that Jean-Paul Turcaud, for various reasons, failed to do either of these. Whilst there is little argument that Turcaud was prospecting in the area and that he did find and identify mineralised gossans, he failed to identify the project as being prospective for gold. On several occasions he attempted to interest local mining companies in the tenements based on its base metal (primarily copper) potential.

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